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Brazil gives refuge to Italian fugitive Battisti

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-01-14

Italian left-wing activist Cesare Battisti has been offered refugee status in Brazil, where he has been avoiding extradition to Italy since 2004. Battisti had previously been granted asylum in France between 1981 and 2004.

Brazilian Justice Minister Tarso Genro has given political refugee status to Italian left-wing activist Cesare Battisti. Italy had previously demanded his extradition, where he was accused for four murders.

 

The ministry of justice issued a statement saying that its grounds for granting asylum were "fear of persecution" for his political views in his home country.

 

Battisti, who denies involvement in the four murders of which he stands accused, has been on the run since August 2004. He had found refuge in France in 1981 under the then Socialist president, François Mitterand, but this was overturned in October 2004.

 

He then sought asylum in Brazil, where he was arrested in 2007 for the crimes allegedly carried out in Italy.

Date created : 2009-01-14