In a decision handed down on 23 April, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Southwark Crown Court to register as external orders three confiscation orders made by the Criminal Court of Rome concerning assets held in the UK.

The orders were made following each of the three Appellants entering into a patteggiamento (a procedure by which they renounced their right to advance a defence to the charges they faced in exchange for an agreed penalty being imposed) in Italian criminal proceedings.

The Appellants argued that the orders should not have been registered by the Crown Court as a patteggiamento did not amount to a “conviction” for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005.

That argument was rejected by the Court of Appeal, which held that a patteggiamento represented a conviction both in Italian law and also, for the purposes of the 2005 Order, in English law. The appeals were therefore dismissed.

Michael Newbold acted for the Respondent, the DPP, instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service Proceeds of Crime Unit. He is regularly instructed in cases involving the registration of foreign orders in this jurisdiction and the certification of domestic orders for execution overseas.

The judgment can be found at https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2020/552.html