Moves to harmonise Europe’s justice systems appear set to encounter new complications after a ruling by its human rights court. This indirectly concerns fugitive Cesare (CHEZaray) Battisti. He was convicted in absentia in Italy for a series of terrorist murders in the 1970s.The European Human Rights judges have condemned Italy’s legal process on the grounds it gave another accused, former Yugoslav Ismet Sejdovic, also judged in absentia, insufficient possibilities to fight a defence. Strasbourg suggested Italy reform its laws. When Rome successfully requested Battisti’s extradition from France this summer he went underground. Paris said he chose not to appear at his original trial, thereby excluding himself from the benefits of the European rights convention. While his lawyers draw parallels between the Sejdovic case and his, some French media commentators support his cause and some say the circumstances are not at all similar. The lawyers say Battisti, who claims his innocence, has changed his defence and now wants to have his day in court. In the meantime, he is still on the run.
Italian justice set back further over Battisti and Sejdovic cases