Ex members of left-wing Italian terror group await French extradition verdict

·2-min read
AFP - THOMAS SAMSON

The Paris Court of Appeal will on Wednesday rule on whether to extradite 10 former members of the hard left Italian extremist group the Red Brigades. The activists, who have been living in France for decades, are wanted by Italy for acts of terrorism committed between 1970 and 1980.

Ahead of the decision, former Red Brigade member Sergio Tornaghi, 64, said extraditing the eight men and two women made little sense, adding he refused to “die in jail” in Italy.

is wanted for his involvement in assassinations carried out by the Red Brigades who sowed chaos during the period in Italy known as the “Years of Lead” — named after the number of bullets fired — from the late 1960s to mid-1980s.

Ten people aged 61 to 78 — eight men including Tornaghi and two women — will find out on Wednesday whether a French appeals court approves the extradition requests, potentially paving the way for imprisonment in Italy.

Those facing extradition are now aged between 61 to 78 years old.

“Who’s going to benefit if we rot in jail?” Tornaghi told AFP. “Even if there is a favourable opinion for my extradition, I will die in France. I’ll let you imagine what that means.”

Tornaghi is wanted for his involvement in assassinations carried out by the Red Brigades who sowed chaos during the period known as the “Years of Lead” — named after the number of bullets fired — from the late 1960s to mid-1980s.

He was sentenced in his absence for organising the murder of his factory’s manager, Renato Briano, in the Milan underground in 1980.

Supporters of the group denounced a decision by French President Emmanuel Macron to authorise the examination of extradition requests despite a commitment for former president François Mitterrand to allow several hundred former Red Brigades members to rebuild their lives in France.

After 40 years in France, where he made a career in computers and had two daughters, Tornaghi said he did not understand the revival of extradition procedures against him.

"Extradition makes no sense, neither legal, nor human, nor political," Tornaghi said.

(with wires)

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