Italy "strongly motivated" to have fugitive Battisti extradited from Brazil

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-06 03:33:50|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ROME, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Italy was determined to have long-time fugitive Cesare Battisti extradited from Brazil, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando said on Thursday.

The official's remarks came after Brazilian authorities made known Battisti -- a former militant convicted of four murders in Italy -- was arrested after allegedly trying to cross the border with Bolivia on Wednesday.

"Italy is strongly motivated to make sure Battisti serves his prison term, and serves it on our soil," Orlando wrote on twitter.

"Extradition is a way to restore -- at least partially -- what has been taken away from our community and the families of the victims," Ansa news agency also quoted the minister as saying.

Italy has been exerting pressure on Brazil (and on France before) to have Battisti deported, since after the former militant escaped Italian jail in 1981.

Cesare Battisti, 63, became a terror group member in 1970s. Among other crimes, he was accused of four killings, which included a prison guard and a police officer, between 1978 and 1979. An Italian court definitely sentenced him to two life terms in jail.

Battisti admitted he was a terror group member but denied committing the murders or having any role in them.

After he escaped Italian prison, he lived in exile in France, shortly in Mexico, and finally in Brazil. He also became a quite renowned writer of crime novels meanwhile.

He fled France to avoid deportation, after French authorities had accepted Italy's second request of extradition, and took cover in Brazil in 2004. He was arrested and put to jail in Brazil in 2007.

In December 2010, then Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva declined the Italian request of extradition and ordered release of Battisti, sparking angry reactions in Italy.

On Thursday, Orlando said he believed extradition was still possible. "Italy has been asking it for a long time, and this request remains resolute," he told local media. "On the basis of international law, there are all the necessary requirements for the request to be accepted."