NEWS IN ENGLISH – Head of Senate committee criticizes Battisti decision

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07/01/2011NEWS IN ENGLISH – Head of Senate committee criticizes Battisti decision

Mariana Jungmann Reporter Agência Brasil

Brasília – The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, senator Eduardo Azeredo (PSDB-MG), released a note on Tuesday (January 4) in which he lamented the decision by ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva against the extradition of the Italian political activist, Cesare Battisti.

Azeredo went on to express sympathy with the Italian government’s position in the case, saying the decision was “one of the gravest mistakes in foreign relations made by the Lula administration”.

According to Azeredo, “Giving asylum to Battisti, a terrorist sentenced to life imprisonment for 36 crimes, including four assassinations, puts the excellent relations between Brazil and Italy at risk. At the same time, our country is subject to scorn as survivors of crimes committed by Battisti protest in front of the Brazilian embassy in Rome and in other Italian cities.”

The senator also pointed out that the trial of Battisti followed all the rules of due process. “Therefore, the decision not to extradite disrespects the judicial system of a democratic nation at the same time that it is an affront to the Brazilian system by considering Battisti a common criminal…. Giving Cesare Battisti liberty is without doubt a stain on Lula’s record,” concluded Azeredo.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link – Comissão do Senado se solidariza com italianos pela não extradição de Battisti