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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Italy president pardons guerrilla
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
President Giorgio Napolitano is to be asked to pardon other members
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has pardoned a member of a left-wing guerrilla group that carried out one of Italy's most notorious murders.

Ovidio Bompressi, of the Lotta Continua group, was serving a 22-year jail term for the murder of Milan police chief Luigi Calabresi in 1972.

Justice Minister Clemente Mastella says he will also seek a pardon for Lotta Continua leader Adriano Sofri.

Mr Mastell's centre-right predecessor Roberto Castelli criticised the move.

The murder of Chief Calabresi was commemorated on a set of stamps last year, but left-wingers still blame him for the death of a young anarchist who either jumped or was thrown from the fourth-floor window of Milan's police headquarters in 1969.

The incident inspired Dario Fo's play Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

The anarchist, Giuseppe Pinelli, was being questioned about a bomb that killed 16 people in a Milan bank.

Bompressi was jailed in 1997 and previous efforts to seek a pardon were blocked by the centre-right government of Silvio Berlusconi, which was defeated in April's elections by centre-left coalition led by Romano Prodi.

Sofri, 63, was temporarily released from prison last year on health grounds.


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