One of Italy’s most high profile political prisoners will have to return to jail despite having undergone major surgery. Adriano Sofri’s 22-year sentence was temporarily suspended last month after he was rushed to hospital. Reports claim the 62-year-old was seriously ill and had to have an operation on his oesophagus. Supporters of Sofri had hoped that he would be pardoned on compassionate grounds, but Italy’s Minister of Justice has refused.
Sofri’s case has attracted much attention and even raised questions in the European Parliament. Prior to his conviction he was a renowned left-wing journalist. It was in 1972 when a police commissioner was shot dead – Sofri was suspected of ordering the killing. The police commissioner had at one time been investigated in connection with the death of an anarchist. The day after the policeman was murdered, Sofri’s newspaper ran the headline “justice has been done”.
Amnesty International has repeatedly objected to what is calls the excessive length of Sofri’s 22-year sentence and has questioned the safety of his conviction.