Brazil plan to send Battisti back -media (5)

Former terrorist will reportedly be flown out by police aircraft

(ANSA) - Rio de Janeiro, October 6 - The Brazilian government has a plan to send former leftist terrorist Cesare Battisti back to Italy in the coming days, the site of daily O Globo reported on Friday. The idea is to fly Battisti out on a federal police aircraft directly to Rome from Corumbà - the city where he has been held since he was arrested two days ago on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering.
    Battisti's defence lawyers said Friday they have made a fresh appeal to the Brazilian supreme court asking for their client's September 27 habeas corpus appeal to be heard "urgently" amid the "imminent" threat of the ex-terrorist being extradited to Italy. One of the magistrates who handled cases of Battisti's former guerrilla group the Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC), Pietro Forno, said "he is a professional escape artist, he has an honorary degree in escapes".
    Forno said "he is a common criminal who got radicalised, to use a vogue word, in jail. Radicalisation does not just concern Islamist terrorism".
    A Brazilian judge earlier on Thursday upheld Battisti's arrest.
    In his decision, the judge said Battisti's attempted escape to Bolivia was a Breach of his status as political refugee and also an offence to Brazilian public order.
    Recalling that the Italian has benefited from asylum in Brazil for years, the judge said Battisti had "enjoyed all the rights inherent in the situation of refugees and all basic rights".
    Italy is working to bring back Battisti from Brazil so he can serve two life terms for four 1970s murders.
    He was arrested Wednesday in Corumbà, on the border between Brazil and Bolivia. The alleged would-be escape was launched after reports that the Brazilian government is moving towards extraditing Battisti for the murders committed in the 1970s 'Years of Lead' of rightist and leftist terror. Battisti tried to flee Brazil in a Bolivian taxi, the police who arrested him in Corumbà said Thursday.
    Italy is "strongly determined" to get Battisti back from Brazil, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando said Thursday.
    "All the necessary steps have been taken" and more will be taken after Battisti's arrest for trying to take money out of Brazil to Bolivia on Wednesday, Orlando said. Orlando noted that Italy's extradition request had been "stalled for some time" by Brazilian authorities. Battisti told Brazilian police Thursday he was not afraid of being extradited to Italy because he feels "protected" by a 2010 decree from former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who granted him a "permanent visa" to stay in the South American country, according to the website of Brazilian daily Estadao.