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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Mafia-link wife back in Britain
Ann Hathaway
Hathaway is back in the UK (photo courtesy of MEN Syndication)
A British housewife who married a Sicilian mob boss and was extradited over claims she helped run his empire has returned to Britain.

Ann Hathaway, 44, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was given a suspended jail sentence after agreeing a deal with Italian prosecutors.

She flew back to Manchester Airport on Monday after she was released from a Sicilian jail.

Speaking before her departure, she said the experience had "destroyed her".

Her husband, Cosa Nostra boss Antonio Rinzivillo, was jailed for 30 years in 2001 for drug trafficking and murder.

Hathaway was originally arrested at her terraced home in Green Street, Middleton, by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit on 18 January.

She appeared at London's City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in March where she agreed to be extradited to Sicily.

Italian prosecutors claimed she was acting as the messenger between her husband in prison and the outside world, and charged her with mafia association.

I just want to get back to my children
Ann Hathaway

She was held in isolation at Agrigento jail on the Italian island of Sicily and was due to stand trial as one of 88 people accused of alleged Mafia activities.

But Hathaway agreed a plea bargain deal in which she admitted Mafia association and was given a two-year suspended jail sentence, prosecutor Nicola Marino said.

Speaking to Italian journalists after her release, Hathaway was asked if she would marry her husband if she could live her life again.

She said: "Of course I would. I love him. He is the father of my two children.

Bernardo Provenzano in Palermo, Sicily
Rinzivillo was said to be second to mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano

"This experience has destroyed me. In Agrigento jail I was kept in isolation and only had a shower three times a week.

"But the worst thing was the isolation. It was inhumane.

"In England, prison was completely different. It was like being in a hotel - we had a pool, I was able to use the phone and my children visited me.

"Now I just want to get back to my children.

"I won't have to work as the State will look after us and pay for us until my daughter is 16 years old."

Jail warning

Hathaway, who has two daughters aged five and 19, met Rinzivillo when she was working in Italy and they married nearly 27 years ago.

At one stage her husband's power was so great he was said to be the Mafia's number two behind Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested earlier this year after more than 40 years on the run.

Prosecutor Nicolo Marino said: "We spoke with her husband in jail and she has plea-bargained. She admitted the facts of Mafia association.

"It was difficult for her to do otherwise because it was all on tape from the intercepted telephone conversations.

"She has been given a suspended jail sentence but warned that she will be jailed if she commits a crime within the next five years."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Ann Hathaway returns to Manchester



SEE ALSO
Woman arrested over mafia links
18 Jan 07 |  Manchester
Police want 'mafia wife' returned
09 Jan 07 |  Manchester
Warrant for British 'mafia wife'
08 Jan 07 |  Manchester

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