Lawyers representing a Kent backpacker jailed in India for drug smuggling in “a travesty of justice” said he could be freed on appeal next month. Patrick Malluzzo, 32, from Dartford, has been in prison in India since 2004. He was arrested after cannabis was found in a bag he had given to a friend to look after. The former City worker has always insisted he is innocent and said he was ref used an interpreter throughout his trial. His parents have re-mortgaged the family home to help pay their legal bills and Mr Malluzzo’s cause has been taken up by the charity Fair Trials International.
Its chief executive Jago Russell said: “The next big thing is in the middle of September when we are hoping the court might hear the appeal.
“We are not holding our breath because they have said this before, and if they don’t we are prepared to go to the Supreme Court in India to get them to move.
“He’s not in a very good state physically so we need to get him back. We are confident any competent court looking at this would acquit him and he would be able to come home. His trial was a complete travesty of justice.” Mr Malluzzo is being held in Kota Jail in Rajasthan with 54 other prisoners and his family say his time in prison has taken a toll on his health.
His mother Teresa Malluzzo said: “There is more hope now for the appeal to be heard than there has been for a while. We are very concerned about Patrick’s health. My husband went out there for two weeks at the end of July and he said Patrick was very pale, he is anaemic and has got problems with his teeth. He’s also had malaria.”
30 August 2009, Press Association Ltd UK