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Jailed backpacker parents call for Whitehall pressure

PUBLISHED: 10:07 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 25 August 2010

RELATIVES of a backpacker jailed abroad for 10 years are calling on the government to put pressure on Indian authorities to hear his appeal.

RELATIVES of a backpacker jailed abroad for 10 years are calling on the government to put pressure on Indian authorities to hear his appeal.

Patrick Malluzzo, 32, of Upper Heath Lane, Dartford, was jailed in 2004 after a bag on a train, stored beside his, was found to contain 19kg of cannabis resin. He has always maintained his innocence and claims he did not receive a fair trial, having been allegedly forced to plead guilty.

Since his imprisonment, he has fought for an appeal, but this year alone 12 separate sittings have been cancelled at short notice.

His family and the charity which represents him, Fair Trials International, has now called directly on Foreign Secretary David Milliband to lean on the Indian authorities and force his trial through.

His mother Teresa Malluzzo, 63, said: "All we want is Patrick's case to be heard. We are asking Mr Milliband to help us by making representations to the Indian authorities.

"I'm asking this as a mum. While everyone is preparing to celebrate Christmas, we can't. Our family is incomplete so we are asking the authorities to please help to bring my son home."

Mr Malluzzo is in poor health according to his mother, he has a urinary infection that won't clear up and his mouth is ravaged with disease.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We continue to raise Patrick's case with the appropriate Indian authorities, however, we are restricted in the representations we can make as we cannot interfere in the Indian judicial process.

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