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France frees former Red Brigades member

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France frees former Red Brigades member

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A former member of Italy’s Red Brigades, Marina Petrella has been released on bail by a French court for health reasons.

A senior member of the left-wing armed group, she was convicted in her absence in 1992 by an Italian court for killing a police officer.

She settled in France in the 1990s under the political asylum offered by President Mitterand.

Petrella, 54, is under 24-hour police surveillance in a psychiatric hospital in Paris where, her doctors say, she has “given up on life” since the French government agreed in June to extradite her.

She will now be able to receive treatment without a guard.

Her daughter, Elisa Novelli, said she weighs less than 40 kilos and the situation is getting worse: “She’s lost another kilo. The intravenous drip that she permitted to stabilise her vital signs is not enough. So this is fast becoming a life or death situation.”

The court’s decision does not suspend the extradition process and a definative ruling on that will be given later this year.