Brazil’s President-Elect Jair Bolsonaro talked Monday (Nov. 5) with Italy’s Ambassador to Brazil Antonio Bernardini about the situation of 63-year-old Italian national Cesare Battisti. Convicted in Italy of terrorism and four murders, Battisti lives in São Paulo. In December 2010, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva denied Battisti’s extradition, a decision made on the last day of Lula’s term.
In his campaign, Bolsonaro said he intended to extradite him, in accordance with the interests of the Italian government. “Battisti’s case is quite clear. Italy is asking for his extradition. The case is being discussed by the Supreme Court. We hope the court makes a decision as quickly as possible,” the ambassador declared.
After Bolsonaro’s win, congressman Onyx Lorenzoni, likely to be named his chief of staff, reiterated his support for Battisti’s extradition. Last weekend, the Italian citizen said he trusts Brazilian institutions.
During his meeting with Bolsonaro, the ambassador handed him a letter written by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The diplomat pointed out that Bolsonaro is of Italian descent, and that both had a “very nice” talk.
“Our presence in Brazil is historical. Of course our perspective includes increasing the Italian presence in Brazil,” the ambassador added.