Domenico Rancadore, 64, will have to remain in custody until a full extradition hearing in February (Reuters)

The High Court has overturned a decision to grant bail to an Italian mafia boss who was arrested in London earlier this year.

Domenico Rancadore, 64, will have to remain in custody until a full extradition hearing is held in February.

The Sicilian, who was convicted for mafia related crimes in Italy in the '90s, was granted conditional bail by a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier this week, but the decision was appealed by the prosecution.

Rancadore was initially scheduled to appear before the High Court in London yesterday but was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting with heart problems instead.

Westminster Magistrates' Court Judge Howard Riddle said one of the reasons for granting bail was Rancadore's health, as the defence team said he suffered from a heart condition.

Lord Justice Goldring of the High Court said the defendant's health issues were to be taken into consideration, but the risk Rancadore would abscond if released from custody was too great to uphold the bail decision.

Described as a "leading figure" in the Sicilian Cosa Nostra by Italy's interior ministry, Rancadore went on the run in 1994 as he was facing charges of mafia-related crimes in Palermo.

He was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail for mafia association and extortion in 1999 but by then was already in Britain under a false identity.

The father-of-two has lived in Britain for two decades under the assumed name of Marc Skinner, his wife Anne's maiden name. He was arrested at his home in Uxbridge, West London in August.