ROME, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy says humanitarian issues prevent him from extraditing a former member of the Italian Red Brigades terrorist group.
Sarkozy Monday denied Italy's request to extradite Marina Petrella, 54, who was convicted in absentia by an Italian court in 1992 of the murder of a police officer in 1981, ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported.
Petrella, who is wanted in Italy for other crimes, including kidnapping and robbery, has spent several months hospitalized in Paris for depression and the effects of a prison hunger strike, ANSA reported.
Sarkozy said Petrella's poor health mandated that he obey a humanitarian clause in France's extradition law, ANSA reported, noting Italian officials opposed to Sarkozy's action predicted a rift between the two countries.
The Red Brigades, a leftist group that waged urban warfare in the 1970s and 1980, were alleged to have kidnapped and killed Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978, ANSA reported.