BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge has annulled the visa of an Italian former leftist guerrilla wanted for murder in his country and ordered that he be deported in a case that has long roiled relations between the two nations.
Cesare Battisti was arrested in Brazil in 2007 pending an extradition request from Italy that was upheld by the Supreme Court but denied by former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his last day in office in 2010.
In a decision handed down last Thursday but only made public on Tuesday, federal judge Adverci Mendes de Abreu annulled the work visa that Battisti was granted by Brazil’s government in 2011. She argued that he had no right to obtain residence because he was a convicted criminal in his country.
It is not clear whether Battisti would face imminent deportation as a result of the court decision, given that Brazil’s legal system allows for multiple appeals.
The judge’s ruling suggested that he could be deported to France or Mexico, where he lived on the run after escaping from an Italian prison in 1981 and before he moved to Brazil in 2004.
Battisti faces life imprisonment in Italy for four murder convictions from the 1970s. The Lula administration granted Battisti asylum in 2009, saying he was a refugee who would face political persecution if he was extradited, a decision that was much criticized in Italy.
Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by James Dalgleish