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Former Italian dissident caught in Brazil

March 18, 2007 at 12:01 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 18 (UPI) -- A former Italian political dissident accused of killing several people in the 1970s has been captured in Brazil, Folha de Sao Paulo reported Sunday.

Cesare Battisti was apprehended in an operation conducted jointly by Italian, French and Brazilian authorities.

After escaping from an Italian prison in 1981, Battisti went to France, where he was granted asylum in 1990. However in 2004, French authorities agreed to extradite him to Italy and Battisti went into hiding.

The 52-year-old former member of the radical leftist Armed Proletarians for Communism was convicted in Italy in absentia on four counts of murder, charges he vehemently denies.

Battisti later earned a living as a writer saying in one of his books that he never killed anyone.

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