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FILE PHOTO: Italian former leftist guerrilla Cesare Battisti leaves the headquarters of Federal Police in Sao Paulo March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce


BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Supreme Court injunction on Friday temporarily blocked the extradition of Cesare Battisti, an Italian left-wing former guerrilla convicted of murder in his country.

The decision by Justice Luiz Fux prevents the Brazilian government from extraditing Battisti until the full court can rule on habeas corpus request from Battisti's lawyers, a ruling that is expected within two weeks.

The former guerrilla was briefly arrested this month when trying to leave the country.

Battisti faces life in prison in Italy, where he was convicted of four murders committed in the 1970s, when he belonged to a guerrilla group called Armed Proletarians for Communism. He escaped from prison in 1981 and lived in France before fleeing to Brazil to avoid being extradited to Italy.

Brazil's Supreme Court authorized Battisti's extradition in 2009, but he was not sent back to Italy because former leftist President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva granted him refugee status on his last day in office in 2010.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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