Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano said that Italy is still giving “maximum attention” to the developments in the case surrounding former Italian activist Cesare Battisti in Brazilian courts. The chancellor spoke Thursday (Feb 22), after a meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes at the Itamaraty Palace, seat of the country's Ministry of Foreign Relations.
Alfano said he worked on the request for Battisti's extradition when he was justice minister and said he expects the case to reach a favorable decision. The chancellor went on to say that he expects the positive atmosphere between the two countries to bring a solution to the issue, which is still "very sensitive" in Italy.
Minister Nunes did not mention the case in his statement to the press.
On Wednesday (21), the Brazilian government argued at the Supreme Court that the president's office has jurisdiction to have the final say on the extradition of foreigners. The statement comes as part of the case in which Battisti attempts to provisionally suspend a possible decision mandating his departure from the country. No date has been set for the trial.
The former militant's extradition was considered yet again last year, after Italian authorities said they are working in cooperation with Brazil to see him extradited. Battisti was given a residence visa after a ruling by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which ensured he could stay in the country.
Battisti was sentenced in Italy to spend life in prison for homicide while a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism. He landed in Brazil in 2004, where he was arrested three years later. The Italian government filed a request for his extradition, which was granted by Brazil's Supreme Court. However, on the last day of his tenure, then President Lula ruled that Battisti should remain in Brazil—a decision subsequently ratified by the Supreme Court.
Arrested since 2007, Battisti was released from Papuda Penitentiary, in Brasília, on June 9, 2011, and, in August the same year was given a residence visa by the National Council of Immigration.
The case was brought back to the limelight when Battisti was imprisoned and charged by the Federal Police on the illegal transfer of funds abroad and money laundering. He was arrested in Corumbá as he tried to cross the border with Bolivia carrying undeclared euros and dollars, but was allowed to wait for a decision on the case at liberty.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Italy chancellor in Brazil says he has kept close watch on Battisti case