Cesare Battisti - terrist in the wrong place , at the wrong time - as the French Right establish their hard man image
On March 25, 57 year-old Brigitte Mohnhaupt, 57, an important figure of Germany’s anticapitalist RAF (aka Baader-Meinhof) gang, reflecting a change in mood in Germany to the terrorists of the 1970's, was freed from Aichach prison in Bavaria.
On March 17th Giuseppe Pisanu the Italian Minister of the Interior said that a hard line should be taken against terrorists who had "scappato" - escaped. He is still smarting about the threat to his authority when last August the Union of Italian Islamic Communities (UCOII) published anti-Israel advertisement which was widely condemned for being anti-Semitic (comparing Israel's military actions to Nazi brutalities). The right-of-centre opposition have sharply criticised the government for "too soft" an approach to terrorism and the return of Battisti will make him look strong without actually having to do anything to salve the population's perceived security risk arising from a large Muslim population... including the Muslim Albanian gangsters who have taken over the trafficking trade and prostituiton and much of the drugs trade.
The next day , March 18th, Cesare Battisti was arrested in a cafe by French and Brazilian Plods on the Copecabana Beach, Buenos Aires , after arranging to meet an acquaintance , the result Prime Minister Prodi claimed was the result of co-operation of the police in Brazil-Italy and France. The person he was to meet was said to be a young woman from a French support committee who had some money for him - but she was under surveillance.
Not quite the story that police spokesman, Bruno Ramos gave "Brazilian police had been following him for several months after receiving information from Interpol in Paris and Rome,"
Whatver the Truth the Italian Justice Minister Clemente Mastella said it was a "brilliant operation"
This week Prodi has (co-incidentally ?) been in Brazil having a chat with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva about a plan for Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Italian energy company Eni SpA to develop biodiesel plants in Brazil and Africa to export the fuel to Italy.
On top of this Franco Frattini, former Italian foreign minister and now vice-president of the EU commission, has said "asymmetric and individual policies in Europe aren't the right strategy", to deal with immigration and has spoken in favour of Nicolas Sarkozy's tough view on a common European assimilation strategy and said that "all current immigration policies in Europe are unsuccessful, thus forcing us to change strategy."
Whis is Cesare Battisti ?
Wikipedia will give you a life. Now 53 he was active in the hrd left in Italy in the 1970's and was involved in theft and bank robberies and was imprisoned.
Later in Milan he helped found Armed Proletarians for Communism (Proletari Armati per il Comunismo - PAC), a far left Marxist group which supported armed struggle. Seerate from the centralist organisation of the Red Brigades (BR) which were in fact infiltrated if not run by the Italian State / Nato as part of Operation Gladio.
With only 60 members this small organisation and they are said to have killed Antonio Santoro, (6/6/78) a prison warder who had mistreated PAC prisoners. A jeweller , Pierluigi Torregiani (16/2/79). ...and almost simultaneously, a butcher, Lino Sabadin, a name in the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) . They also claimed the death of DIGOS agent Andrea Campagna who had been involved in pursuing the PAC.
Cesare Battisti was arrested for several fairly minor crimes and jailed for 12 1/2 years February 26, 1979. He escaped to Mexico and then in 1990 went to live in France and claimed that the murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by the Second Red Brigades lead by Mario Moretti caused him to give up the armed struggle.
The Miterrand Doctrine
On February 1st 1985 at the Palais des Sports in Rennes French Prime Minister Miterrand gave his word that leftist Italian activists whom had broken with their past and the spiral of violence would not be extradited to Italy, but excluded from this protection "active, actual, bloody terrorism". Later that year on April 21 at the 65th Congress of the Human Rights League (LDH), he declared that Italian refugees and former militants who had broken with their violent past would be protected from extradition to Italy.
Battisti lived quietly in paris and obtained some renown as a novelist ( including the semi-autobiographical , The Last Bullets) until at a meeting in Paris on September 1th 2002, between Italy's Minister of Justice Roberto Castelli (Northern League) and France's Minister Dominique Perben (RPR) the Italians sought Battisti's and others extradition. The first breach of the Miterrand policy was In 2002, when Paolo Persichetti, who had been a Red Brigades (BR) member who was then teaching sociology at university was extradited.
These requests continued and were continued largely to be ignored. Then on February 10, 2004, during Jacques Chirac's presidency (lucky not to be in prison himself) , the French government had Battisti arrested on Italy's request and planned to extradite him to Italy to face trial for murder.
However Battisti did a runner and that was why he was in Brazil when Plod caught up with him last week.
Why did they lift Battisti ?
1. One popular theory is that this arrest was handily timed to coincide with the French presidential elections and Leftwing commentators say presidential frontrunner Sarkozy had broken Mitterrand's commitment in order to boost his law and order credentials ahead of the April election.
Sarkozy has naturally rejected this criticism, saying that the French police had simply acted under an international arrest warrant issued after the Italian disappeared from France in 2004. A response to persistent demands from left and rightwing politicians in Italy who say Battisti is a terrorist and have pushed for his extradition for years.
le Monde has criticised this move and in Battiste's defence entitled “Straight for Battistes”, they opose the [prospect for jail for life because extradition would be “to submit it to a political judgment that no-one would justify” and would show the lurch by Europe to the Right.
Le Monde also published a tract from Jean-Marc Rouillan in 2005 "France : The return of the convicts" Rouillan was a leader of the Action Directe urban guerrilla group, sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987 for the murder of the CEO of Renault, Georges Besse, and a defence ministry official, General René Audran. He is now imprisoned at Lannemezan, in southwest France where he has been for the last 20 years. He is the author of ‘Lettre à Jules’ and ‘Chroniques carcérales’ and has just published a novel ‘La Part des loups’
His tract condemns the conditions in France’s prisons which he says have severely deteriorated in the past decade. The recommendations of parliamentary committees and well-meaning statements by charities have done nothing to slow, let alone halt, the downward trend. Recent government measures to tighten discipline are worsening an intolerable situation. The current policy is based on the beliefs that prison is the cure for all ills and that authority must be restored. ..... John Reid, Charles Clarke, David Blunkett acan all be heard cheering in the background.
2. Interpol have developed a unified, central database of stolen , forged travel documents over the last few years (The stolen and lost travel documents (SLTD) ) which now amounts to records covering at least 13.7 Mn documents notified by the 180 members.
They have developed a secure portal which can be accessed by member forces called MIND/FIND. These are two integrated solutions using either fixed or mobile integrated network databases, known as FIND and MIND. Both can integrate into the existing computer-assisted verification system in a country. In addition, MIND can be used in a country without any existing system.
This has been intensively used since early this year and has been very much in use at the Interpol Major Event Support Team (IMEST) which is on the ground in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in the Caribbean during the World Cup Cricket competition and they state over a score of fraudulent uses has been identified. The Caribbean region is the first in the world to use Interpol's MIND/FIND and SLTD database, which allows frontline border-entry officers to screen documents for those reported lost or stolen - and still Woolmer's killer(s) haven't been found.
In 2006, the nine host countries submitted 455 queries to the database with five hits. With the installation of MIND/FIND, law enforcement authorities have conducted more than 241,400 searches, with 44 hits, between 1 January and 21 March.Switzerland so far is the only country checking all incoming passports against the Interpol database.
As an extension of this Interpol claim that the identification of Battisti and his fraudulent documents (he is said to have had 2 forged French passport when captured) resulted from the use of the SLTD database.
Battisti was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice 20 years ago when he escaped from Italy which was the basis for the Interpol action. An Interpol Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant - and person should be, they warn - " considered innocent until proven guilty."
The Boys with the Toys anxious to show they work.... International Terrorist caught .... Sarkozy shows the Iron fist ... Prodi looks good at home .... Ticks all the boxes.