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Italy convicts CIA rendition agents.

11/4/2009 4:42:37 PM

An Italian judge has convicted 23 US secret agents over the 2003 abduction Abduction
Balfour, David

expecting inheritance, kidnapped by uncle. [Br. Lit.: Kidnapped]

Bertram, Henry

kidnapped at age five; taken from Scotland. [Br. Lit.
 of an Egyptian imam from a Milan street in an extraordinary rendition Extraordinary rendition and irregular rendition are terms used to describe the extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another, and the term Torture by proxy  by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.


(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy).
).

The trial was the first in the world to centre on the agency's controversial programme, in which "terror" suspects are thought to have been transferred to countries known to practise torture.

The case concerned the seizure of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar Abu Omar ("living father") can refer to:
  • Omar Abu Omar, better known as Abu Qatada, a Jordanian militant living in England
  • Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr
, and his transfer to Egypt, where he claims he was tortured.

All of the Americans were tried in absentia in absentia (in ab-sensh-ee-ah) adj. or adv. phrase. Latin for "in absence," or more fully, in one's absence. Occasionally a criminal trial is conducted without the defendant being present when he/she walks out or escapes after the trial has begun, since the accused , with 22 sentenced to five years in jail and Robert Seldon Lady Robert Seldon Lady (b. February 2, 1954 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; nicknamed "Mister Bob") is a noted member of the U.S. intelligence community. The former CIA station chief in Milan, Italy, Lady is now is a fugitive from Italian police, following his alleged involvement in the , the Milan CIA station chief, handed eight years in prison.

Two Italians were given three-year prison terms.

Citing diplomatic immunity A principle of International Law that provides foreign diplomats with protection from legal action in the country in which they work.

Established in large part by the Vienna conventions, diplomatic immunity is granted to individuals depending on their rank and the
, Judge Oscar Magi told the Milan courtroom on Wednesday that he was acquitting three other Americans.

Five Italians, including Nicolo Pollari, the former head of Italy's Sismi military intelligence service, and Marco Mancini Marco Mancini was the second-highest ranking officer of of Sismi, the military intelligence agency of Italy [1] until his 5 July, 2006 arrest for his participation in the kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (the Imam Rapito case). , his ex-deputy, were acquitted, with Magi saying that the men were protected by state secrecy rules.

Lawyers for the 23 Americans said they would appeal against their convictions.

Verdict 'unexpected'

Ian Kelly Ian Kelly was an Irish soccer player who played in the League of Ireland during the 1980s.

Kelly played for Bohemians amongst others during his career in the League of Ireland.
, a spokesman for the US state department, said of the judge's decision: "We are disappointed by the verdicts against the Americans and Italians charged in Milan for their alleged involvement in the case involving Egyptian cleric Abu Omar.

"The judge has not yet issued a written opinion so we're not in a position to comment further."

George Little George Little may refer to:
  • George Little (North Carolina) (born 1942), Republican politician from North Carolina
  • George Little (naval officer) (1754–1809), American naval officer during the Revolutionary War
, a CIA spokesman, told Al Jazeera This article is about the TV network and channel. For other uses, see Jazira.

Al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة, al-ğazīrä
 that "the CIA has not commented on any of the allegations surrounding Abu Omar".

Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga, reporting from Milan, described the verdict as "quite shocking and unexpected".

"I spoke to the prosecutor and he said he was fairly satisfied with the exclusion of Pollari, because he said he wasn't found innocent, but was just not condemned because he was protected by state secrecy," Lavanga said.

"Some of them [those convicted], including Seldon Lady and Jeff Castelli, the CIA chief of station in Rome, left the country when they were found to be part of the operation and they never came back to Italy.

"It is very unlikely they will come now that they have been convicted. The lawyers said that first of all they will appeal, that is a process which can take months.

"And even if the verdict is upheld, it seems unlikely they will be extradited."

'Brutally tortured'

Twenty-five CIA agents and a US air force colonel had been cited in the trial, which also involved seven Italian secret service officials.

Abu Omar, an imam granted political asylum in Italy, was taken from a Milan street on February 17, 2003, in an operation allegedly co-ordinated by the CIA and SISMI.

It is alleged that he was then taken to a US air force base in northeastern Italy, then flown to the US base in Ramstein, Germany, and on to Cairo.

He was released after four years in prison without being charged, and currently lives in Egypt.

Abu Omar told Human Rights Watch in 2007 that he was "hung up like a slaughtered sheep and given electrical shocks" during his time in Egypt.

"I was brutally tortured and I could hear the screams of others who were tortured too," he told the organisation.

His suspected captors failed to take many standard precautions and had spoken openly on mobile phones, leaving investigators to suspect that the US agents had cleared their intentions with senior Italian intelligence officials.

Abu Omar's lawyer is requesting $14m in damages.

Aljazeera.net 2003 - 2009

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Publication:Aljazeera.net
Date:Nov 4, 2009
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