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Italian killer-turned-author arrested in Paris

Published on 11/02/2004

PARIS, Feb 10 (AFP) - French police said Tuesday they had arrested an Italian former left-wing militant, who is wanted for murder in Italy but has lived openly in France for years.

Cesari Battisti, once a leader of the “Armed Proletariat Communist Movement” and now a successful author, was arrested by French anti-terrorist police at his home in an eastern Paris apartment building where he worked as a concierge.

Battisti, 49, has been convicted of two murders by Italian courts and could be extradited, police said.

He has has not tried to hide his identity or location since settling in Paris in 1990, and has become a well-known author, publishing 13 detective novels, including 11 with the prestigious Gallimard editor.

Under former French president Francois Mitterand, leftist activists who had given up armed combat but were on the run from Italy were given implicit refuge by France’s socialist government.

The current centre-right government has begun arresting several of the former activists in the past two years. Most, however, have been released without being extradited to Italy.


                                                              Subject: France news