Italian Jail sentences for CIA-led kidnappings


Italy’s counterterrorism prosecutor Armando Spataro at the trial.

In an unprecedented move, an Italian court issues jail terms for former CIA agents involved in the abduction and torture of a Muslim Imam.

The Wednesday ruling saw an Italian judge sentencing 23 former CIA agents to up to eight years in prison for facilitating the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian-born cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, in Italy.

The operation, managed by the CIA and the Italian military intelligence, took place as part of what Washington has called its way of dealing with ‘enemies of the United States.’

Based on the method, euphemistically known as ‘extraordinary rendition,’ the so-called ‘terror suspects’ would be secretly flown to countries where torture-aided interrogation remains within the bounds of the law.

A great number of suspects were accordingly transferred to CIA prisons overseas or the US Cuba-based prison facility in Guantanamo, without formal legal charges, the right to an attorney or any type of defense before suffering torture in order to admit to propped-up charges.

Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was likewise taken to Egypt, where he says he was tortured and held until 2007 without any charges.

During the Wednesday trial, which was formed in the absence of the Americans, whom the United States has refused to extradite, former head of the CIA’s Milan station, Robert Seldon Lady, received eight years in prison, and the other 22 former CIA agents were handed five-year sentences each.

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