Brazil denies Italy's request to extradite ex-radical

11:04, January 01, 2011      

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On his last day in office, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Friday rejected Italy's request to extradite former activist Cesare Battisti.

The decision adopted Brazilian attorney-general's recommendation, and was in accordance with Brazil's constitution, international human rights conventions and the extradition treaty between Brazil and Italy, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said in a statement.

An incoming announcement by the Supreme Federal Tribunal, Brazil's highest court, will formalize the decision, he added.

Battisti, a former radical sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by Italian courts for alleged involvement in four murders in the 1970s, was arrested in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and has been imprisoned in Brasilia since then.

He was granted political asylum in January 2009 by then Brazilian Justice Minister Tarso Genro. But his refugee status was annulled by Brazil's supreme court in November 2009, and the final decision was left to the president.

Rejecting the extradition request was one of the last acts of Lula as president, who will be succeeded by President-elect Dilma Rousseff on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua
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