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Brazil delays extradition hearing for Italian fugitive

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Brazil delays extradition hearing for Italian fugitive
09:53 CEST+02:00
Brazil’s Supreme Court has delayed a session to discuss the extradition of Cesare Battisti, a convicted Italian killer who has spent decades on the run.

Battisti is currently awaiting Brazil’s decision whether to return him to Italy, where he faces life imprisonment for his part in four murders attributed to the Armed Proletarians for Communism, a radical left-wing group that he belonged to in the 1970s.

The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday but has been postponed for “procedural reasons”, the court said, without setting a date for the case to resume.

In the meantime Battisti must wear an electronic bracelet that allows authorities to track his location, La Stampa reported.

He was detained following an apparent escape attempt earlier this month, when he was stopped in a taxi headed for Bolivia late at night.

Battisti denies trying to flee. “Someone wanted to take me to the Bolivian border,” he told Italian broadcaster Rai on Tuesday. “It was a trap. It was all organized.”

He was granted asylum by a former Brazilian president in 2011, a decision that Italy has repeatedly asked Brazil to reconsider.

There were reports that the Brazilian government was about to do so when Battisti was stopped near the border on October 4th.

He insists that returning to custody in Italy would endanger his life, claiming to have received threats from Italian police, military and politicians.

Italy has been trying to recapture Battisti since he escaped from prison near Rome in 1981, fleeing first to France and then to Brazil.

He has written a series of crime novels during his years on the time, got married and had a child.

He admits to having been part of an armed group but denies responsibility for any deaths.

“Of course I have compassion for the victims,” Battisti told Rai. “I’m 62 years old, I have a wife and child, I have grandchildren.” 

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