Alfano confidence in Brazil on Battisti (5)

Foreign minister says Italy has done a 'great job' on case

(ANSA) - Milan, October 12 - Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano expressed faith in the Brazilian authorities on Thursday amid reports that President Michel Temer has decided to revoke former Italian leftist terrorist Cesare Battisti's status as a political refugee. Battisti is reportedly set to be extradited to Italy to serve two life terms for four 1970s murders unless his lawyers' petition to the supreme court for him to be granted habeas corpus is successful.
    "At the moment we must only express respect for the decisions of the Brazilian president and for his evaluations, which we await with great confidence," Alfano said.
    "We have done a great job but the fewer declarations you make at times like this, the more likely you are to achieve your aim". Battisti was arrested last week in Corumba', 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, who was provisionally released at the weekend, said Tuesday he had not been trying to flee Brazil when he was picked up in a taxi heading for Bolivia, saying he had no reason to do so because he is still protected from extradition by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's 2010 decree.
    Battisti "has nothing heroic and a lot criminal" and "the sooner he comes to Italy to serve his time the better," European Affairs Undersecretary Sandro Gozi told an ANSA forum Thursday. Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, meanwhile, replied "absolutely" on Thursday when asked if all the necessary steps had been taken for the extradition of Cesare Battisti.
    "This is not the time to make comments, but to work with great determination," he added. Brazilian federal police have been "monitoring every step" of Battisti since the former leftist terrorist was granted a provisional release, the website of daily newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo reported. The cops have been ordered to photograph Battisti's home in Sao Paulo to confirm that he is actually there.