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Brazil: Italy calls for formal talks over release of convicted terrorist

last update: June 17, 13:03

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Rome, 17 June (AKI) - Italy has instructed its ambassador to Brazil to ask the Brazilian government to form a bi-lateral commission to resolve a dispute over last week's release of convicted Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti.

"On the instructions of foreign minister Franco Frattini, the Italian ambassador to Brazil to formally asked Brazilian authorities to activate the Permanent Commission of Conciliation as foreseen by a 1954 convention between Italy and Brazil," the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Italy and Brazil signed the agreement "for the amicable settlement of any disputes which might arise between the two countries," the document said.

Italian judges have sentenced former far-left armed militant Battisti in absentia to life in jail for four murders committed in the 1970s. He spent three decades on the run and has lived in France, Mexico and Brazil, where he was in jail from 2007 until his release on 9 June.

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's last official act before leaving office in December was to grant 56-year-old Battisti political refugee status on the recommendation of a report by Brazil's attorney general.

Brazil's Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that a bilateral extradition treaty should apply, but that the final decision must be taken by Lula.

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