Italian militant caught decades after fleeing murder conviction
ROME >> A left-wing Italian militant who was convicted of murder in his home country nearly three decades ago was arrested in Bolivia, authorities said Sunday, setting the stage for a climactic end to Italy’s long effort to bring a fugitive to justice.
The Italian government sent an aircraft to pick up Cesare Battisti, who was captured by Bolivian and Italian police in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, where he was located by intelligence agents after using one of his mobile devices, Italian police and RAI state television said.
The 64-year-old had been living openly in Brazil for years and enjoyed the protection of left-wing governments on both sides of the Atlantic. But Brazil’s outgoing president signed a decree last month ordering his extradition, apparently sparking Battisti’s latest effort to flee.
“Cesare Battisti’s long flight is over,” Justice Minister Alfonso Buonafede declared, adding that he would be taken to Rome’s Rebibbia prison.