Extradition proceedings of Italian Mafia boss Sebastiano Brunno started today but will continue in 10 days once authorisation from the Justice Minister is received.
Magistrate Aaron Bugeja heard that according to law, an extradition request could only proceed in court upon the authorisation of the Justice Minister so he gave the prosecution 10 days to procure this authorisation.
Mr Brunno, who in court said he worked in the agricultural sector, was arrested from his Bugibba apartment last week. He is wanted in Italy to serve a life sentence after being found guilty of murder, attempted murder and possession of weapons in the 1990s.
Mr Brunno had been monitored by the Maltese authorities for three months prior to his capture.
Magistrate Bugeja deferred the case to October 20.
Deputy Attorney General Donatella Frendo Dimech prosecuted while lawyers Marion Camilleri, Angie Muscat and Clint Tabone appeared for the accused.
Meanwhile, the case against Mr Brunno over his possession of a fake passport and using it to enter Malta illegally will start being heard by Magistrate Doreen Clarke on Monday.
In a statement, the Justice Ministry said it received the request for extradition this morning at 10.30am.
The minister, who was currently at a European Justice Ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, would be urgently considering the request for the court to act expediently, as was the case in call cases of extradition.