[Pnews] France arrests 7 Italian leftist militants it harboured for decades
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 29 11:21:49 EDT 2021
/NOTE THE CORPORATE SOURCE - 2 articles follow/
France arrests seven Italians convicted of far-left terrorism
Angela Giuffrida - April 28, 2021
Seven Italian far-left guerrilla fighters, who hid in France
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/france> for decades after escaping
terrorism convictions that left “an open wound” in Italy, have been
French authorities are also searching for three other Italians convicted
on terrorism charges linked to bombings and assassinations between the
late 1960s and early 1980s.
The Italian government has been urging France for years to arrest and
extradite the fugitives, who were identified in the Italian media as
Marina Petrella, Giovanni Alimonti, Enzo Calvitti, Roberta Cappelli,
Sergio Tornaghi, Giorgio Pietrostefani and Narciso Manenti.
The three who have so far managed to evade arrest were named as Luigi
Bergamin, Maurizio Di Marzio and Raffaele Ventura.
Five of the fugitives belonged to the far-left Red Brigades, which
fought against rightwing militants during a period of political and
social turmoil known as “the years of lead”. Hundreds of people were
murdered, including the former prime minister Aldo Moro, who was
kidnapped and killed by the Red Brigades in 1978.
Under the “Mitterrand doctrine”, France allowed the convicted
terrorists to remain in the country and avoid extradition to Italy
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/italy> so long as they promised to
The arrests came after a meeting on 8 April between Italy’s justice
minister, Marta Cartabia, and her French counterpart, Éric
Dupond-Moretti, which was followed by a phone call the next day between
the Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, and the French president,
“During the meeting with Dupond-Moretti, Cartabia reiterated that the
extraditions were a priority for Italy and needed to be done quickly
because the statute of limitations for the crimes are due to expire,”
a spokesperson for the Italian minister said.
Draghi said in a statement on Wednesday: “The government expresses
satisfaction with France’s decision to initiate judicial procedures,
requested by the Italian side, against those responsible for very
serious terrorist crimes, which have left an open wound. The memory of
those barbaric acts is alive in the conscience of Italians.”
A statement from Macron’s office said his administration had wanted to
resolve an issue that has long stoked tension with Rome. “France,
which is also affected by terrorism, understands the absolute need to
provide justice for victims,” the statement said. “It is also part
of the absolute need to build a Europe
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/europe-news> of justice in which
mutual confidence must be central.”
Cappelli and Petrella, both from Rome, were given life sentences for
their involvement in the murder of Gen Enrico Gavaligi in 1980. Cappelli
was also convicted of the murder of the security guard Michele Granato
in 1979 and injuring two police officers.
Petrella was also convicted of kidnapping the justice ministry
magistrate Giovanni D’Urso, who was held captive for 35 days in 1980.
Tornaghi, from Milan, was sentenced to life in prison for murder, and
Calvitti and Alimonti were given prison terms of 11 years and 18 years
respectively for crimes including attempted murder.
Pietrostefani, a militant with Lotta Continua, which was a far-left
extra-parliamentary organisation, and Manenti, a member of another
leftwing extremist group, Nuclei Armati, were also given jail terms for
Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, said: “You cannot flee from
your responsibilities, from pain caused, from the evil generated.”
The former leftwing terrorist Cesare Battisti was extradited to Italy in
2019 from Brazil, where he had been on the run for almost four decades.
Battisti was convicted in 1979 of belonging to the outlawed Armed
Proletarians for Communism, but he escaped from prison in Italy in 1981.
He was subsequently convicted in absentia of killing two police
officers, taking part in the murder of a butcher and helping to plan the
killing of a jeweller.
France arrests 7 Italian leftist militants it harboured for decades
Reuters,Crispian Balmer,Michel Rose - April 28, 2021
Red Brigades releases are pictured in Milan March 27, 2012.
REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo
France has arrested seven fugitive Italian leftist militants after
harbouring them for decades following their conviction in Italy on
terrorism charges, in a turning point for Paris and Rome on an issue
that had long poisoned relations.
Italy has long sought the extradition of dozens of leftist guerrillas,
who had been given refuge in France on condition they renounced violence
following the so-called Years of Lead from the late 1960s to the 1980s.
The period saw hundreds of people killed in violent campaigns by both
far-left and far-right groups.
French President Emmanuel Macron's office said the arrests followed
months of discussions between Italy and France, with police targeting
those militants guilty of "bloody crimes".
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who took office in February and has
established a close working relationship with Macron, welcomed the
"The memory of those barbaric acts is alive in the Italian conscience,"
his office said in a statement.
An adviser to Macron said the move was made possible by the renewed
"climate of trust" between Macron and Draghi, after years of tension
between Paris and Rome, particularly when Italy was headed by a populist
"It was a way for us to show responsibility, recognise this part of
Italian history and stop turning a blind eye to the violent acts
perpetrated between the mid-60s and the 80s," Macron's adviser said.
French justice minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said he was "proud to
participate to this decision that I hope will allow Italy to turn after
40 years a bloody and tearful page of its history."
Amongst those captured was Giorgio Pietrostefani, a co-founder of the
Lotta Continua (Continuous Struggle) group, sentenced to 22 years in
prison for his role in the 1972 murder of Milan police commissioner
The other six were members of the Red Brigades, including Marina
Petrella, Roberta Cappelli and Sergio Tornaghi, all sentenced to life in
prison for taking part in various murders and kidnappings, police said.
A search was under way for three other Italians, Macron's office said,
adding that Rome had originally put forward the names of 200 wanted
individuals. The Paris prosecutor's office said they would examine any
request from Italy for extradition.
Hundreds of people were murdered in bombings, assassinations and street
warfare by rival far-right and far-left factions during years of social
and political turmoil that petered out as prosecutors gradually
uncovered many of the perpetrators.
Numerous leftist militants fled to France, where Socialist President
Francois Mitterrand pursued a policy of granting asylum to those who
eschewed bloodshed. Later French governments abandoned that policy, but
Italy nonetheless struggled to convince Paris to hand over even those
convicted of murder.
In 2008, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy refused to extradite Petrella,
citing humanitarian reasons and sparking fury in Italy. Amongst her
various convictions, Petrella was found guilty of murdering General
Enrico Galvaligi in 1980, as well as two police bodyguards.
Italy's biggest breakthrough in its efforts to bring fugitive militants
to justice came two years ago, when Brazil extradited Cesare Battisti,
convicted in 1990 in absentia for four murders. Battisti originally made
his home in France, but fled to Mexico and then Brazil when attitudes in
Paris started to change.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863-9977
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews