March 25 (UPI) -- Cesare Battisti, extradited from Bolivia to Italy in January, has admitted committing politically motivated murders in the 1970s, the Italian press reported. His extradition ended decades of being a fugitive of justice as he continued to deny he was responsible.
"It was a war. Now I ask the victim's families' pardon," said 64-year-old Battisti, a former extremist, Italy's La Repubblica newspaper reported Monday.
Battisti admitted during questioning by officials that he was the the primary perpetrator of two murders and also assisted in two others, La Repubblica said. Battisti refused to cooperate with authorities, did not name other people involved and cannot qualify for benefits for those who repent.
He also confessed to other crimes committed while he was a member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism during the 1970s in Italy -- a period marked by political violence.
Previously, Battisti only admitted participation in a left-wing political organization as a youngster.
Italian authorities in January took custody of Battisti from Bolivia to begin serving a life sentence to begin serving a life sentence after his capture. Battisti had been sentenced in absentia for four homicides in the 1970s.
For several years, he dodged the Italian justice by living in countries including Brazil and France, where authorities allowed him for years to set up residence. He dedicated himself to activities that included writing crime novels and working as real estate broker.
Adriano Sabadin, who was 16 years old when his father, a far-right militant and butcher, was killed by the Armed Proletarian Group, told La Repubblica that "the word pardon is not in my vocabulary."