Mafia turncoat-turned-fugitive Donatella Concas has been granted asylum in Malta while in hospital treating her chest pain.
Concas, 40, had been living in Mosta before her arrest on 18 October, which happened after her name appeared on a Schengen Information System alert.
Magistrate Aaron Bugeja granted the woman an asylum status in Malta after her lawyer Malcolm Mifsud repeatedly insisted that she had fled Italy in fear of her life after testifying against members of the mafia who were now trying to kill her. Extraditing her would breach her right to life, which is protected by the Constitution, Mifsud argued.
Italian news reports said Concas had been convicted of involvement in organised crime, forming part of the Camorra in the Veneto region between 2009 and 2011. She had been sentenced to three years, eight months imprisonment in 2015 by a Venetian court for participation in organised crime, usury, extortion and illegal possession of weapons. However after her conviction, Concas had vanished for more than a year and was only traced in Malta with great difficulty.
Though magistrate Bugeja noted that the Attorney General had replied to the defence’s arguments by explaining that this was a European Arrest Warrant where the Italian authorities were requesting Concas be sent back to serve a sentence, her right to life was put into consideration.
Concas would now be living in Malta as a refugee.