Rome

Cassation Court says Mesina too dangerous for house arrest (3)

75-year-old in prison for conspiracy to smuggle drugs

Cassation Court says Mesina too dangerous for house arrest (3)

Rome, October 13 - The supreme Court of Cassation on Friday ruled that 75-year-old convicted former Sardinian bandit Graziano Mesina is too dangerous for house arrest. The Cassation ruled against releasing Mesina from jail and placing him under house arrest given his "present and effective potential to commit crimes" that make his incarceration a necessity. Mesina was most recently arrested in 2013 and sentenced by a court of first instance to 30 years in jail for criminal conspiracy to smuggle drugs. The legendary former Sardinian bandit got 30 years on December 30, 2013 for leading a drug trafficking gang. Mesina, who also saw his 2004 pardon revoked, had been in jail since his arrest on June 10, 2013. Prosecutors had asked for a 26-year sentence for Mesina, who is nicknamed Grazianeddu. Another four defendants were convicted with Mesina. Mesina, 74, was pardoned in 2004 after almost 50 years in and out of jails but returned to drug trafficking and attempted kidnapping in 2013. He was arrested with 24 others who have already got shorter sentences in fast-track trials. Sardinia's most famous postwar bandit was a hero to many in the 1960 and 1970s for his supposedly anti-capitalist kidnappings, daring prison breaks and glamorous lifestyle on the run. The former iconic bandit was acquitted in October 2013 of ordering the murder of Santino Gungui near Nuoro on Christmas night in 1974. Prosecutors had asked for a life penalty, arguing that Mesina, then in jail, ordered the hit on 37-year-old Gungui for not handing over the proceeds of arms and drugs trafficking. photo: Mesina in 2014

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