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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Italy Presses France to Extradite Former Leftist Militant


7Dnews London

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 12:25 GMT

A formal request has been sent by Italy to France to extradite a former leftist militant thought to have been active throughout the country's so-called "Years of Lead", the French Ministry of Justice stated.

According to Reuters, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini last month urged French President Emmanuel Macron to extradite leftist guerrillas who have been hiding in France for decades to avoid serving prison sentences in Italy. 

The "Years of Lead" was a period of social and political turmoil in Italy from the late 1960s to early 1980s, when a tremendous number of people were murdered in bombings, assassinations, and street warfare by rival far-right and far-left militant factions. 

"As of today, talks between the French and Italian Justice Ministries are being held over 15 cases," a spokesperson for France's Justice Ministry said late on Monday, February 11th, adding Italy had sent an official extradition request concerning one militant last week. 

This spokesperson said he was expecting a second request in the coming days and that a meeting would take place on Wednesday to discuss Italy's demands, but that no decision was expected then. 

According to Rome's la Repubblica newspaper, there happens to be nine Italian leftists living in France as fugitives, including three convicted for playing a role in the 1978 kidnapping of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. 

The request by Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, to Macron last month came after the return of communist militant Cesare Battisti to Italy from Bolivia to serve a life sentence for being involved in four murders in the late 1970s. 

Battisti escaped prison in 1981 and spent more than 15 years in France before fleeing to South America.