Brazil's Supreme Court has tentatively voted to send an Italian fugitive home to face prison sentences for political slayings in the 1970s.

The justices can still change Wednesday's initial 5-4 vote to send Cesare Battisti back to Italy.

The extradition order still must be signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

He has said he will abide by the court ruling on extradition.

Battisti escaped from an Italian prison in 1981 and was later convicted in absentia for the murders of a prison guard and a butcher.

He was arrested in Brazil in 2007.