French court orders extradition of Italian mafia fugitive

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A French court on Friday ordered the extradition of one of Italy's most wanted Mafia figures who was arrested last week in Marseille.

The suspect had denied he was Giuseppe Falsone, who French authorities say was arrested Saturday in a luxury flat in central Marseille, when he appeared in court in Aix-en-Provence on Thursday.

The presiding judge said fingerprint technology showed the suspect was Falsone, who has been been on the run from Italian justice for the past decade.

Falsone was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in 2003 for conspiracy to murder, and in November 2006 he was given a second sentence of more than 12 years for organised crime and fraud.

Falsone is suspected of being a "lieutenant" of Bernardo Provenzano, the head of the Sicilian Mafia who is currently in jail in Italy.

The man had told the court he was Giuseppe San Filipo Fridola, born in 1974, and not Falsone, born 1970.

© 2010 AFP

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