ROME – Italy says it will go to the international court in The Hague in a bid to overturn Brazil’s decision not to extradite an Italian fugitive, BBC News reported. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi expressed “great regret” at Brazil’s Supreme Court ruling over Cesare Battisti. Battisti was released from prison in Brazil following the court’s decision. The former left-wing rebel escaped from an Italian jail in 1981, while awaiting trial for four murders in the 1970s. He has always denied the charges. He was convicted of murder in absentia in 1990, but the 56-year-old insists he is the victim of political persecution in Italy.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Italy’s extradition request a day before he left office in January – a move that caused outrage in Italy, which withdrew its ambassador.
Berlusconi said Brazil’s decision on the extradition request “denies justice to the Italian people and in particular to Battisti’s victims”. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said: “Italy plans to activate immediately every possible judicial mechanism… in particular through the Hague international court.” He said Italy would “seek to overturn the decision that it holds is not in accordance with… the requirements of international law”.