England

Jailed Kent backpacker to be transferred to UK jail

Patrick Malluzzo
Image caption Fair Trials International has described Malluzzo's trial as a "travesty of justice"

A Kent backpacker who was jailed in India for drug-smuggling is to be transferred to a British prison.

Former City worker Patrick Malluzzo, 32, of Dartford, was given a 10-year sentence in 2006 but has always maintained his innocence.

His request to serve the remainder of his sentence in a UK jail has now been approved by the Indian government.

His parents said they hoped the British government would facilitate the transfer as swiftly as possible.

Malluzzo was backpacking in India in 2004 when a friend took his bag from Rajasthan to Goa so he could travel lightly.

'Travesty of justice'

The friend accidentally left three bags, including Malluzzo's luggage, on a train. They were found to contain about 42lbs (19kg) of cannabis resin.

Malluzzo claims the first he knew about it was when he was arrested at Mumbai airport as he tried to leave India.

The campaign group, Fair Trials International, described Malluzzo's trial as a "travesty of justice".

In January, he decided not to continue his fight to overturn his conviction in order to apply for a transfer to the UK.

His father, Salvatore Malluzzo, said: "We hope the British government do the honourable thing and get him home within weeks rather than months.

"But we are very disappointed that he is not coming home with his name being cleared."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said it was working with the family to provide consular assistance.

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