Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, October 13 - Italian former leftist terrorist Cesare Battisti "broke the relationship of trust" with Brazil by trying to leave the country "without a precise reason" last week, Justice Minister Torquato Jardim told BBC Brazil Friday. Caught on his way to Bolivia in a taxi, Jardim said, "he said he was going to get fishing equipment, but he broke the relationship of trust because he committed an illegal act and was leaving the country with money above the permitted limit, without an apparent motive". Battisti's extradition to Italy is a "sovereign act" on the part of the Brazilian government under a bilateral treaty between the two countries, Jardim told BBC Brasil, confirming President Michel Temer's intention to send Battisti back to serve two life terms for four 1970s murders. Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando on Friday hailed the shift in Brazil's position on extraditing Battisti as stated by Jardim. Orlando voiced the hope that extradition would now be carried out, having made all the necessary moves. Battisti told ANSA he didn't think he owed an apology to any of the relatives of his four murder victims, reiterating his claim the murders were committed by others. "All murders are deplorable, but there's no reason for me to apologise for something that other people committed", he said, adding that he felt more Brazilian than Italian after almost 10 years spent there as a refugee, and that all there was in Italy for him were "hate and resentment". The former terrorist told a Brazilian daily Italy is "such an arrogant country" that "they are convinced it will be an easy task for them to get me out" of Brazil. Speaking to Folha de S.Paulo, Battisti said Italy's attitude towards him was one of "pride and vanity". Temer has an opportunity to "make a great act of justice and humanity" towards him in letting him stay on as a political refugee, Battisti told the Brazilian daily. "I would like President Temer to become deeply aware of the situation, also because he has all the judicial and political instruments to carry out an act of humanity and leave me here" in Brazil, said Battisti. Sao Paulo Mayor João Doria said after meeting Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala in Milan Friday that Battisti is a criminal who must be extradited. "Now we have a democratic government in Brazil and we can't give protection to a criminal. The extradition must be done," said Doria. Italy is seeking to extradite Battisti for murders committed in the 1970s Years of Lead of rightist and leftist terrorism. Temer has reportedly decided to lift Battisti's political-refugee status, granted by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2010. Battisti, formerly a successful crime writer in France, has said extradition to Italy would be like "a death sentence". The 62-year-old, born in the hilltown of Sermoneta south of Rome, was a member of the leftist militant group Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC).
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