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28 Apr, 2021 12:10

7 Italians linked to far-left group detained after decades of terrorizing the country

7 Italians linked to far-left group detained after decades of terrorizing the country

Paris police have arrested seven Italians who were on the run after being convicted in Italy for terrorism charges linked to the far-left militant Red Brigades group, which carried out violent attacks in the country for decades.

The arrests came after a joint operation between Paris and Rome to locate the individuals who secured refuge in France after the end of the ‘Years of Lead’ violence that plagued Italy for 20 years and left hundreds dead amid clashes between terror groups and the government. 

The French president’s office confirmed the arrests and said that authorities in the country are still searching for a further three suspects who are on the run.

“France, also hit by terrorism, understands the need for justice for the victims,” a spokesperson for the French president said in a statement.

Among those detained, police captured Giorgio Pietrostefani, who co-founded the far-left organization Lotta Continua and was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 1972 for the murder of a Milan police commissioner, while the other six were part of the Red Brigades and received life sentences for a string of murders and kidnappings.

The ‘Years of Lead’ – which ran from 1968 to 1988, and were a period of social and political turmoil throughout Italy as the nation attempted to industrialize – still haunt the country, seeing a resurgence from 1999 to 2005.

While seven have now been arrested and three more are being sought by authorities, Italy is still seeking the extradition of more than 200 people who were linked to the violence that occurred throughout that two-decade period.

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France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, confirmed that the individuals arrested will now be taken to a domestic court which will decide whether they will be extradited to Italy to serve their sentences.

The joint operation followed a meeting between the French and Italian justice ministers, who were considering what measures to take before the statute of limitations for the European arrest warrants issued expire between the end of this year and 2023.

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