Europe

France arrests tenth former member of Italian Red Brigades in Paris

French police have arrested a former member of the Italian Red Brigades, who had evaded capture for nearly three months.

Maurizio Di Marzio was the only one of ten suspects linked to the left-wing militant group who was not detained by the authorities in April.

Seven suspected terrorists were detained at their French homes, while two others turned themselves into police.

But Di Marzio, the tenth accused individual, was arrested on Monday morning in Paris, Italy’s justice ministry said.

He had been sentenced to 15 years in jail for a series of violent crimes committed in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s.

This includes the attempted kidnapping of the deputy head of the DIGOS security police in Rome in January 1982.

The Red Brigades were especially active during Italy’s “years of lead” when the country was bloodied by repeated political acts of terror.

The individuals had fled Italy after the left-wing groups fell dormant and sought refuge abroad before they could be imprisoned to serve their sentences.

The arrest of the 10 former members in France came after sustained pressure from Italian authorities. French President Emmanuel Macron’s said his administration had wanted to solve an issue that has long caused tension with Rome.

Under the so-called “Mitterrand Doctrine”, Paris allowed former left-wing terrorists to stay in France and not be extradited to Italy as long as they pledged to renounce violence.

Di Marzio had reportedly been living in France since the 1990s, and his arrest warrant had expired on May 10.

But a Rome court held that his alleged crimes have not timed out under the statute of limitations, and a warrant for his arrest still stood.

Di Marzio has been placed in judicial custody and is due to appear before the Paris Court of Appeal to hear a decision on whether he will be extradited.

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