to Mr. Bayard.
Rome, August 4, 1888. (Received August 18.)
Sir: I have the honor herewith to transmit copies of the correspondence between this legation and the Italian foreign office in relation to the extradition of Salvatore Paladini, a fugitive from justice, who is under indictment in the United States court for the district of New Jersey on the charge of passing counterfeit money of the United States. This correspondence will become intelligible upon a brief review of the following facts:
I was instructed to demand the extradition of said Paladini by your letter No. 93, of April 26, 1888, which informed me that the President’s warrant to receive the fugitive had been issued to one Cono Casale. Casale presented himself at the office of this legation on the 17th day of May, 1888, bringing with him the papers relating to the case, including the warrant for the arrest of Paladini; and I at once, on the same day, dictated the letter to the foreign office which is herein marked inclosure No. 1, inclosing the papers and demanding the extradition of Paladini.
It being obviously important to secure the arrest of the fugitive without delay, I delivered the letter with its inclosures to Mr. Crispi on the afternoon of that day in person, and called his attention to the urgency of the matter, and to the danger that Paladini might be informed of the [Page 1038]presence of Casale in Italy, and of the measures about to be taken for his arrest. Mr. Crispi opened the letter, requested me to translate it for him, which I did, and then observed that the matter would have to be referred to the ministry of grace and justice, but that he would send it there at once, and that measures for the arrest of the fugitive would be taken forthwith. Although the name of Salvatore Paladini must have suggested to him that the fugitive was an Italian, Mr. Crispi asked me no questions as to Paladin’s citizenship. Before I left I informed Mr. Crispi that Paladini was supposed to be in Sicily, and that Mr. Cono Casale was at the service of the Italian authorities for the purpose of aiding in his discovery and identification.
Five days elapsed after this interview, and I had no communication from the foreign office in regard to the matter. Casale, meanwhile, was at the office of the legation every day, and became very impatient; so 1 proceeded to the foreign office, in order to inquire what had been done.
When I arrived there I found that Mr. Crispi was then, and for several days had been, confined to his house with illness; but I was assured by one of his secretaries that the papers had long since been sent to the ministry of grace and justice, and that the ministry of foreign affairs was in momentary expectation of the report.
Nearly another week elapsed; and Crispi having meanwhile been taken to Castelamare by reason of his illness, I requested Mr. Dougherty, the secretary of legation, to inquire at the foreign office as to the state of the matter. The information given him by one of the under secretaries was that Mr. Casale had been there in person the day before; that they were fully aware of the urgency of the matter; and that I would hear from them very soon. Accordingly, on the second or third day thereafter, to wit, on the 2d day of June, 1888, I received a letter (marked inclosure 2), in which I was informed that my application for the extradition of Paladini had been communicated to the ministry of grace and justice “without the least delay,” but that it was important to know of what country Paladini was a native, what was his paternity, and what was his citizenship.
It will be observed that this inquiry was addressed to me for the first time when nearly two weeks had elapsed since the date of my application. I answered this note immediately (inclosure No. 3), informing the ministry that Paladini was a Sicilian and an Italian subject, a native of Messina, in Sicily, and was then supposed to be at that place, adding, again, that Mr. Cono Casale, the agent appointed by the United States Government, knew him personally, and, as I had informed Mr. Crispi, was at the disposition of the Italian authorities for the purpose of identifying and arresting the fugitive.
To this note no reply was made for more than three weeks, during all of which time Mr. Crispi was prevented, first by illness and then by his occupation in the Chamber of Deputies, from receiving the foreign ministers. In the interval Casale had become so impatient that he had proceeded first to Naples, and then to Messina, in order to be near or on the spot whenever the attempt should be made to effect Paladini’s arrest. On the 25th of June I addressed a note (inclosure 4) to the Italian foreign office, to which I received the reply marked inclosure 5 on the 2d of July, 1888. Seven days thereafter, on the 9th of July, the foreign office sent me a further note (inclosure 6) dated July 7, 1888, in which I was informed that the royal prefecture in Messina, by order of the ministry of the interior, had attempted to trace up and secure Paladini at Messina without success, and that the fugitive was believed to have [Page 1039]returned to New York. This note of the foreign office contained the remark that the Italian ministry of the interior “does not find itself in a position to avail itself of the services of the agent Casale, sent to Italy by the Government of the United States.” This remark, together with the circumstance that the Italian authorities had allowed nearly seven weeks to elapse before they acted in compliance with ray demand and their duty, accounts for the tone of the note which I addressed to the Italian foreign office on July 14, 1888 (marked inclosure 7). Up to this moment no question had been raised as to the duty of the Italian Government to extradite Italian subjects, as well as subjects or citizens of other states, upon the demand of our Government; but in reviewing the correspondence with the foreign office, and speculating on the probable causes of the otherwise inexplicable tardiness of the Italian authorities, I began to suspect that the Italian Government would eventually refuse to surrender Paladini on the ground that he was an Italian subject. This suspicion led me to write the concluding passage in my note of July 14–, 1888 (inclosure 7), and it was soon confirmed at my interview with Mr. Crispi on July 26, 1888, the first I had been able to secure since May 17. At this interview the Italian minister of foreign affairs took the ground that the extradition treaty between the United States and Italy did not require the surrender of Italian subjects, and that there was an express reservation in said treaty to the effect that its terms should not apply to the citizens or subjects of the asylum state. I informed him that I was quite fresh from the reading of the treaty of March 23, 1868, and that he was mistaken. Mr. Crispi, however, persisted in his assertion, and I left him with the observation that the further discussion of this subject had better be in writing. Mr. Crispi assented, and accordingly, on the 27th of July, I sent him the memorandum marked inclosure 8.
The reply to this memorandum (inclosure 9), though dated the 27th of July, was not sent to me until the 1st of August, the date at the head of the letter being probably a mistake.
In this reply it was said that the papers in the extradition case, which I had delivered to the ministry of foreign affairs on the 17th of May, were inclosed and returned to me.
Although by some inadvertence the papers were in fact not inclosed (as I informed the foreign office in the note as per inclosure 10), I inferred from the announcement of their return by the minister of foreign affairs that he had definitively abandoned all intention of continuing the pursuit of Paladini with a view of his surrender, and so informed Mr. Casale, who, in a letter received the day before, had announced his intention of returning to the United States on the steamer Olympia, which was to sail from Naples on the 1st or 2d instant. But suddenly, to my surprise, I was notified by a dispatch from Messina that Paladini had been arrested. I at once notified Casale not to leave for the United States, but to go to Messina, and 1 then proceeded to the foreign office to inform Mr. Crispi of the event by which the concluding sentences of his note of July 27 (exhibit 9) had lost their force. Mr. Crispi, after some reflection, said that in his judgment it was not necessary, after all, to determine at this moment whether it was or was not the duty of the Italian Government to surrender one of its own subjects upon the demand of the United States, inasmuch as that question, among others, would be decided by the court at Messina before which Paladini would have to be brought, in any event, before he was extradited or finally tried. He observed that his interpretation, as he called it, of the treaty of March 23, 1868, had been based upon the circumstance that the law of Italy prohibited the extradition of Italian [Page 1040]subjects to foreign jurisdictions, crimes committed by said subjects within such jurisdictions being justiceable by the Italian courts as much as if the crimes had been committed in Italy. I answered that I supposed that in Italy, as well as elsewhere, treaty obligations were a part of the law of the land; so that at last we were brought back to the question: What was the duty of Italy under the treaty with the United States? and that the United States, while conceding the right of the Italian tribunals to determine whether a demand for extradition had been made upon proper grounds and in proper form, could not admit their right to narrow the terms of the treaty itself. Mr. Crispi, thereupon, said that in any view of the case it would be time enough to continue the discussion of the matter in dispute between us after the decision by the court at Messina, and promised to do everything in his power to expedite the proceedings.
After this interview I received a formal notice (inclosure 11), through a note sent by Mr. Damiani, under secretary of state, of Paladini’s arrest.
My dispatch to Casale fortunately reached him before his departure, and he informed me by telegraph of his intention to go to Messina without delay.
It is, of course, impossible to predict what course will be taken by the Messina tribunals. Meanwhile I deem it important to call your attention to Article VI of the treaty of March 23, 1868, which provides that “the expenses of the arrest, detention, and transportation of the persons claimed shall be paid by the Government in whose name the requisition shall have been made.” Casale is, or claims to be, without means, so that several weeks ago I advanced to him at his request 125 francs, which he promised to return in a few days, but which he now says he can not return until after his arrival in the United States.
From a perusal of the papers sent me I infer that the President’s order of arrest and the demand for Paladini’s extradition were issued and made at the instance and in the interest of Paladini’s sureties, one of whom was Casale’s father. In view of Article VI, above referred to, it is important that the agent of the Government be provided with the necessary funds not only to pay the expenses of the arrest, detention, and transportation of Paladini, but also, in certain contingencies, to employ counsel to appear in behalf of our Government before the Messina courts.
I have, etc.,