Portugal extradites Italian ‘Years of Lead’ bomber to Rome

An Italian arrested in Portugal after fleeing a life sentence for a deadly 1974 bombing was extradited to Rome on Tuesday, Italian police said.

Portugal extradites Italian 'Years of Lead' bomber to Rome
The bombing in Brescia on May 28th, 1974. Photo: public domain/Wikimedia Commons

Maurizio Tramonte, 65, a former secret service informant, was sentenced to life behind bars in 2015, 41 years after the attack that killed eight people and wounded 102 in Brescia in northern Italy.

He was run to ground in the Portuguese city of Fatima in June. Press reports at the time said he was nabbed by police as he prayed.

The former leader of the neo-fascist Ordine Nuovo (New Order) organisation, 82-year old Carlo Maria Maggi, was also given a life sentence for the attack on a trade union rally.

The bombing was one of a clutch of terror attacks by hardline rightwing and leftwing groups in Italy across more than a decade from the late 1960s.

That period of violent turmoil, which saw hundreds of killings, has been dubbed the “Years of Lead”.

The Brescia attack was one of the worst in that troubled period along with the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan in 1969, which killed 16, and the Bologna railway station blast which left 85 dead in 1980.

Bologna station in the aftermath of the 1980 bombing. Photo: AFP



Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.