Subsequent to the exposure of the conspiracy hatched between Palermo and disreputable elements in the SAP in South Africa, an investigation was ordered to establish the truth of the charges put forward by the Italian Judiciary. This was entrusted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Bulelani Nguka, who headed up a special unit called the Scorpions. He in turn conferred the task onto the Attorney General of Cape Town.
The investigation had as its subject the same facts entirely as those disputed in the precautionary custody sentence of 1997 (association to commit a crime, international money laundering, abetting the “fugitives from justice” Bonomo and Gelardi by providing hospitality). The AG of Cape Town took the statements made by Smith, Viljoen and Lincoln to be his own, and in the same document requested the judicial assistance of various foreign countries in order to check the elements supporting the alleged money laundering activities. This contained serious charges that had already been the subject of the warrant of arrest issued by the Judicial Authorities in Palermo as far back as 1982.
The Attorney General ordered the arrest of Palazzolo in respect of an indictment that was set out over six charges. 1 to 5 were about ascertaining Palazzolo’s inclusion in organised crime in South Africa; 6 concerned the legality of his acquisition of South African citizenship.
Certain, once again, of his innocence, Palazzolo brought a case against the National Attorney General, the Director of Special Operations, the State Prosecutor in the Provincial Division of the Cape of Good Hope, and the Minister of Justice. And once again the authorities had nothing on him. The reports prepared by the Police Officers mentioned above (Smith, Viljoen and Lincoln), did not contain any proof or evidence that Palazzolo had established a criminal organisation in South Africa. And it was further established that the sources for the probatory elements relating to the charges consisted exclusively of information provided by the Italian investigators and by the media. The Italians were behind it, once again bringing forward allegations for which Palazzolo had already been acquitted.
Consequently the authorities made a proposal with Palazzolo that he withdraw his case against them while at the same time the Supreme Court of South Africa would hand down an order withdrawing the charges against him (under points 1 to 5) relating to organised crime. Furthermore they gave an undertaking to never again to subject him to such charges in the future. This order was issued on the 7.9.01 by the Supreme Court of South Africa.
The charge indicated under point 6 (acquisition of citizenship), however, stood and was left unchanged. The reason being that it would have to be subject to a Court hearing. When it was brought before Judge Vermeulen in Cape Town, on 14.03.03, he concluded that Palazzolo was wholly innocent. Vermeulen observed how insubstantial the proof was and even expressed his surprise that the case had even been brought before the Court in the first place.
From the above, one can only conclude that an attempt was being made to strip Palazzolo of his citizenship so that he could be deported. Which was the only way they could get round the South African denial of the extradition application, a denial – it is worth mentioning – which is founded in a fundamental principle of International Law, namely: That no person can be handed over when the Country receiving the request for assistance has already conducted it’s own judicial enquiry into the facts in question. This is codified in the European Convention on Extradition signed in Paris on 13.12.57 wherein:
Extradition shall not be permitted if final judgment has been passed by the competent authorities of the requested Party upon the person claimed in respect of the facts for which extradition is requested. Extradition may be refused if the competent authorities of the requested Party have decided either not to institute criminal proceedings or to terminate proceedings that have already been initiated in respect of the same facts.
As regards Palermo’s continued and illegal methods, trying to get Palazzolo back to stand trial for crimes for which he had already been acquitted, a few times, there is nothing more to add.