Edmonton Journal - - WORLD -

ROME Italy sent an air­craft to Bo­livia on Sun­day to pick up fugi­tive left-wing mil­i­tant Ce­sare Bat­tisti, pic­tured, af­ter he was cap­tured there nearly three decades af­ter be­ing con­victed of mur­der in his home coun­try. The devel­op­ment sets the stage for a cli­mac­tic end to one of Italy’s long­est-run­ning ef­forts to bring a fugi­tive to jus­tice.

Bo­li­vian po­lice, work­ing with Ital­ian agents on the ground, ar­rested Bat­tisti, 64, overnight in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, Ital­ian po­lice said. He had been liv­ing in Brazil for years, but last month Brazil’s out­go­ing pres­i­dent signed a de­cree or­der­ing his ex­tra­di­tion, spark­ing Bat­tisti’s lat­est flight.

“Ce­sare Bat­tisti’s long flight is over,” Jus­tice Min­is­ter Al­fonso Bon­afede de­clared.

Ital­ian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini called Bat­tisti a “delin­quent who doesn’t de­serve to live com­fort­ably on the beach but rather to fin­ish his days in prison.”

Bat­tisti es­caped from an Ital­ian prison in 1981 while await­ing trial on four counts of mur­der al­legedly com­mit­ted when he was a mem­ber of the Armed Pro­le­tar­i­ans for Com­mu­nism. He was con­victed in ab­sen­tia in 1990, and is fac­ing a life term.

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