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Italian ex-militant Battisti arrested in Bolivia

AFP  |  Brasilia 

Battisti, an Italian sought by for four murders attributed to a far-left group in the 1970s, was in and will be extradited to and then likely to Italy, a to Brazil's new said Sunday.

has repeatedly sought the extradition of Battisti, who has lived in for years under the protection of former leftist (2003-2010), now in prison for corruption.

"Italian terrorist was detained in (Saturday night) and will be soon brought to Brazil, from where he will probably be sent to to serve a life sentence," tweeted Filipe G Martins, a on international affairs to Brazilian

During Brazil's recent presidential campaign the far-right Bolsonaro -- who took office on January 1 -- vowed that if elected he would "immediately" extradite to

In mid-December Brazil's outgoing president, Michel Temer, signed an extradition order for after a ordered his arrest.

By then the Italian ex-militant was nowhere to be found.

Battisti, 64, was arrested late Saturday in the Bolivian de la Sierra, sources told Brazilian media.

Bolivian officials have not confirmed the reports.

Italy's to fired off a triumphant tweet upon hearing the

"Battisti has been arrested! Democracy is stronger than terrorism!" wrote.

Battisti escaped from an Italian prison after being convicted in 1979 of belonging to an outlawed leftist group, the Armed Proletarians for

He was subsequently convicted in absentia of having killed two Italian policemen, taking part in the murder of a butcher, and helping plan the slaying of a who died in a shootout which left his 14-year-old son in a wheelchair.

Battisti admitted to being part of the group but denied responsibility for any deaths.

He reinvented himself as an and in 2004 skipped bail in France, where he had taken refuge. He went to live clandestinely in Brazil until he was arrested in 2007 in

After years in custody, then-president Lula issued a decree -- later upheld by Brazil's -- in 2010 refusing Battisti's extradition to Italy, and he was freed, angering Italy.

Battisti, who has a five-year-old Brazilian son, last year told AFP he faced "torture" and death if he were ever to be sent back to Italy.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 13:20 IST