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Italian Prisoner To Move to Rome

August 18, 1999

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ An Italian radical serving a 40-year prison term in the United States is expected to be returned to Rome next week to serve out the rest of her sentence in Italy.

Her supporters claim the transfer is a goodwill gesture by the United States toward Italy following the acquittal of a U.S. Marine pilot accused in the deaths of 20 people killed when his plane sliced the cables of an Italian ski gondola.

The Justice Department said the decision to release Silvia Baraldini to the Italians had nothing to do with Capt. Richard Ashby.

Baraldini, 51, was convicted in 1983 of trying to rob a Brinks armored truck. She also was convicted of kidnapping for her role in the prison breakout of a Black Liberation Army leader.

Prosecutors said Baraldini was part of a Marxist and black nationalist group called ``The Family″ accused of crimes dating to 1976.

Chris Watney, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said Tuesday she could not immediately confirm details of Baraldini’s transfer to Rome. The Justice Department said earlier that Baraldini was expected to be transferred late this month.

Baraldini’s supporters have posted messages on the Internet saying she will be transferred from the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury on Aug. 24.

Baraldini has served 16 years of her sentence. She is scheduled for mandatory release in July 2008, based on accumulated good conduct credits.

Her lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, did not immediately return calls Tuesday.

Italians were outraged when Ashby was acquitted in March of involuntary manslaughter charges after he was accused of flying too low and too fast when he sliced a gondola cable in the Italian Alps in 1998.

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