Ital­ian ex-mil­i­tant ar­rested in Bo­livia

Daily Messenger - - International -

BO­LIVIA: A for­mer com­mu­nist mil­i­tant who Brazil's new pres­i­dent had vowed to ex­tra­dite has been de­tained in Bo­livia, a Brazil­ian of­fi­cial said.

Ital­ian Ce­sare Bat­tisti is wanted for four mur­ders in Italy dur­ing the 1970s, which he de­nies com­mit­ting.

Bat­tisti spent years in Brazil as a refugee, backed by for­mer left-wing Pres­i­dent Luiz Ina­cio Lula da Silva.

But far-right Pres­i­dent Jair Bol­sonaro, who took of­fice on 1 Jan­uary, had pledged to send him back to Italy.

Filipe Martins, a se­nior aide on in­ter­na­tional af­fairs to Pres­i­dent Bol­sonaro, tweeted that Bat­tisti "will be soon brought to Brazil, from where he will prob­a­bly be sent to Italy to serve a life sen­tence".

Brazil­ian politi­cian Ed­uardo Bol­sonaro, one of the pres­i­dent's sons, tweeted to Italy's in­te­rior min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini: "Brazil is no longer a land of ban­dits. The "lit­tle gift" is com­ing."

An ar­rest war­rant had been is­sued for Bat­tisti in De­cem­ber, when Brazil's for­mer Pres­i­dent Michel Te­mer re­voked his sta­tus as a per­ma­nent res­i­dent.

The 64-year-old went on the run, and both his lawyer and the po­lice told the BBC they had no idea of his where­abouts.

Bat­tisti, who has a fiveyear-old Brazil­ian son, told AFP last year he would face "tor­ture" and death if he re­turned to Italy.

He was ar­rested by a spe­cial In­ter­pol team formed by Ital­ian in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Ital­ian paper Cor­riere della Sera re­ports. He was wear­ing sun­glasses and a fake beard at the time of his cap­ture, the paper said.

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