By March 19, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Criminal Crime Writer Caught in Copacabana!

Someone could really turn this into a great thriller — but it would definitely help if that someone had some first-hand experience with a scenario like this. From The Guardian (“Militant turned crime writer caught in Brazil“):

An Italian former terrorist turned bestselling crime writer who fled France in 2004 to avoid extradition home has been arrested in Brazil.

Cesare Battisti, wanted in Italy for two 1970s murders, was arrested yesterday near Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro after a long surveillance operation.

“Brazilian police had been following him for several months after receiving information from Interpol in Paris and Rome,” a police spokesman, Bruno Ramos, said.

Brazil’s supreme court will now consider a request for his extradition, most likely to Italy.

If you read the full story, there’s even a prison escape! (The group Battisti belonged to was the Armed Proletarians for Communism — not to be confused with the Armed Communists for Proletarianism, and certainly not to be confused with the Proletarian Communists for Armaments.)

And, perhaps predictably:

Left-leaning artists, writers, filmmakers and intellectuals in France mounted a campaign to stop Battisti’s extradition.

My lack of knowledge about the political climate in 1970s Italy should probably keep me from offering an opinion (I suppose it’s possible he didn’t get a fair trial), but never mind that: I guess a successful writing career and a comfy seat in a sidewalk cafe counts as time served. Really, the man’s paid his debt to society!

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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