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Swiss terrorist arrested in Corsica

A view of the Red Brigades terrorists' ambush in central Rome, March 16, 1978

(Keystone)

The convicted Swiss terrorist, Alvaro Baragiola-Lojacono, has been arrested on the French island of Corsica. He is accused of being involved in the 1978 murder of the Italian Christian Democrat politician, Aldo Moro.

French police took the 45-year old Ticinese into custody on Friday after he was arrested without a struggle. They were acting on an international arrest warrant issued for his part in the kidnapping and murder of the ex-Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro.

Baragiola-Lojacono was an ex-member of the Italian left-wing extremist group, the Red Brigade. He had been released from prison in Berne in October 1999, after serving eleven years for the murder of a judge in Rome in 1978.

He had originally been sentenced to life imprisonment, but that was reduced by the court of appeal to 17 years. In 1994 a Rome court also sentenced him, in his absence, to life imprisonment for his part in Moro's murder, but at the time he could not be extradicted because of his Swiss origin on his mother's side.

The reasons behind Moro's murder are still unclear 22 years later. There has been speculation that the Italian secret service was involved because Moro, as leader of the Christian Democrats, was thought to be ready to sign a deal with the Communist party to remain in power. The Mafia has also been suspected of being involved.

Moro was kidnapped by a commando unit of the Red Brigade on March 16 and murdered 55 days later.

swissinfo with agencies

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