Suspected mafia boss caught in The Hague was actually an innocent British man
A man who was arrested in a restaurant in The Hague on Wednesday proved not to be a mafia boss from Sicily, but instead a tourist from Liverpool.
The man was mistaken for Italian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, also known as Diabolik, for whom there is a European arrest warrant.
On Friday, the British tourist was brought before public prosecutors in Amsterdam where he stated he is a British citizen and not the wanted Italian man. The man from Liverpool had come to the Netherlands to watch the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort, his lawyer Leon van Kleef told Het Parool on Friday.
The Liverpool man was held until Saturday when it was confirmed he had nothing to do with the mafia.
Messina Denaro has been a fugitive since 1993 when he was placed on the most wanted list for his role in bombings that killed at least ten and wounded 93 people. In 2002, he was sentenced in absence to life in prison.
It was not clear if the innocent British man will file damage claims. “We may talk about that later. Let him recover from the shock first”, Van Kleef said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.