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Two former Italian left-wing terrorists surrender to French police

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
A lawyer for a former member of the Red Brigades leaves court in Paris on Thursday.
A lawyer for a former member of the Red Brigades leaves court in Paris on Thursday.   -   Copyright  AFP
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Two former Italian left-wing terrorists have turned themselves into French police, prosecutors have said.

Luigi Bergamin and Raffaele Ventura voluntarily presented themselves to a Paris courthouse on Thursday.

The news comes just one day after seven former Italian members of the Red Brigades were arrested at their homes in France.

Bergamin and Ventura were among three people still being wanted for extradition by police.

The group has all been convicted of crimes committed in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s.

As a former member of the Prima Linea group, Bergamin was sentenced to more than 16 years for his role in the murders of two police officers in 1978 and 1979.

He was convicted of belonging to an armed group, instigating attacks aimed at undermining the state, illegally holding and carrying arms, aggravated robbery, aggravated theft, criminal association, and aggravated murder.

Meanwhile, Ventura, a former member of another Communist group, was convicted of the killing of another police officer in 1977.

This week's arrests following increased negotiation between the EU member states after decades where France refused to act on many of the arrest warrants issued by Italy for convicted left-wing terrorists.

The individuals had fled Italy after the left-wing groups fell dormant and sought refuge abroad before they could be imprisoned to serve their sentences.

French justice had refused to extradite Bergamin to Italy in the early 1990s.