He was the only one to have escaped the execution at the end of April of the arrest warrants issued by Italy against ten former far-left activists. Maurizio Di Marzio, 61, settled in France since the 1990s, was arrested on Monday July 19 at the request of the Italian authorities. The latter are claiming him on the basis of a conviction for an attempted kidnapping in 1982.

The execution of these arrest warrants constituted a historic turn in relations between the two countries, widely welcomed beyond the Alps but more discussed in France. These activists, some of whom belonged to the Red Brigades, are claimed by Rome, which accuses them of having committed attacks in their country during the years 1970-1980, nicknamed “the years of lead”.

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“I never killed anyone”

On April 28, seven of them were arrested at their homes and two others presented themselves the next day to justice. Maurizio Di Marzio, whose validity of the arrest warrant expired on May 10, fled before the strike, announced a few days earlier in the Italian press. According to sources close to the case, he was no longer actively wanted by the French authorities. But on July 8, the Rome Court of Appeal ruled that the warrant was ultimately not time-barred.

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The former brigadier was placed in judicial detention on Monday and must be presented by 48 hours to the Paris Court of Appeal, which must decide on his possible pre-trial detention or release under judicial control, the time of the proceedings.

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Maurizio Di Marzio is claimed by his country for the execution of the remainder – five years and nine months – of a sentence of fourteen years of imprisonment, in particular for his role in the attempted kidnapping in 1982 of a vice-prefect of Rome police, Nicola Simone, seriously injured in the attack.

“I did a lot of stupid things and I won’t do them again, but I’ve changed”, he said a few years ago to the Italian magazine Panorama. “I have already spent six years in prison. I never killed anyone ”, added the restaurateur, at the head of an Italian tavern in Paris, saying “Persecuted” by the authorities of his country. He was arrested in 1994 in Paris, but the extradition procedure had not been completed.

Archive: The long exile of the Italian far left in Paris

Defense denounces “political revenge”

The other nine former activists, seven men and two women, aged 63 to 77, were released at the end of April. They appeared in June before the Paris Court of Appeal, responsible for examining the validity of extradition requests.

The court is due to say, on September 29, whether or not it is requesting additional information from the Italian authorities on these requests, described as “Political revenge” by the defense and crushed by the Advocate General for their shortcomings.

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The World with AFP


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