ROME (AP) – Italy sent an aircraft to Bolivia yesterday to pick up fugitive communist militant Cesare Battisti after he was captured there nearly three decades after he was convicted of murder.
The development sets the stage for a climax to one of Italy’s longest-running efforts to bring a fugitive to justice.
Bolivian police arrested Battisti, 64, overnight. He had been living in Brazil for years, but last month Brazil’s outgoing President signed a decree ordering his extradition, apparently sparking Battisti’s latest flight to try to evade justice.
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said a government aircraft was flying to Bolivia.
The Foreign Ministry vowed to have Battisti extradited “as quickly as possible” and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he would “finish his days in prison” as soon as he steps on Italian soil.
Battisti escaped from an Italian prison in 1981 while awaiting trial on four counts of murder allegedly committed when he was a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism.
He was convicted in absentia in 1990.