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Finally- CIA agents sentenced for kidnaping

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:59 am    Post subject: Finally- CIA agents sentenced for kidnaping Reply with quote

Italian court sentences 23 CIA agents over rendition flight

Richard Owen in Rome


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Abu Omar

Abu Omar shows scars he says were caused by torture

An Italian court sentenced 23 former CIA agents to up to eight years in prison yesterday for their role in the abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect in the first trial relating to “extraordinary renditions”.

The Americans were all tried in absentia, but the verdicts were hailed by human rights campaigners as a victory that could open the way to further prosecutions. Two agents of the Italian military intelligence agency Sismi were sentenced to three years each.

None of the convicted CIA agents is in Italy, and successive Italian governments have refused to ask for their extradition. Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, was given an eight-year sentence while 22 other agents received five years each. Classed under Italian law as “fugitives”, all were represented by Italian lawyers who had little or no contact with their clients.

Citing diplomatic immunity, Oscar Magi, the presiding judge, acquitted three other Americans as well as five Italian defendants who could not be judged because the Italian state had withheld evidence which it maintained was classified information.
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They include General Niccolo Pollari, the former head of Sismi, and his deputy Marco Mancini. The trial, which opened in June 2007, is the first in the world over the abduction of terror suspects during the Bush era by the CIA and its proxies and their “rendition flights” to countries which permitted or turned a blind eye to torture.

Abu Omar, an imam and militant Islamist whose real name is Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, was seized on a Milan street in February 2003. He was taken to the US Air Force base at Aviano in northeastern Italy, then flown to the US base at Ramstein in Germany, and eventually to Cairo.

He was released after four years in prison without being charged, and now lives in Egypt. He told Human Rights Watch in 2007 that he had been “hung up like a slaughtered sheep and given electrical shocks” during his interrogations. “I was brutally tortured and I could hear the screams of others who were tortured too,” he said.

The CIA agents left numerous traces of the operation, including the use of credit cards and mobile phones. Prosecutors said that the lack of precautions suggested that they believed they were operating with the sanction of the Italian authorities.

The prosecution also charged that the kidnapping of Abu Omar was a violation of Italian sovereignty which had compromised Italian security. Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, has denied all knowledge of the kidnapping.

General Pollari has already stepped down as head of Sismi over the affair. Armando Spataro, the prosecutor, had asked for a 13-year sentence for Mr Pollari and 12 years for Mr Lady.

The trial was held up after the Italian Government sought to have it shelved on grounds of national security. However, Italy’s Constitutional Court ruled that it could go ahead, while agreeing that some evidence was inadmissible because it involved state secrets.

The court awarded Abu Omar €1 million (£900,000) in damages, and €500,000 for his wife. The US State Department said that it was “disappointed with the verdict.

State kidnapping

February 17, 2003 Abu Omar kidnapped in Milan

November 2005 CIA practice of extraordinary rendition is revealed

September 2006 President Bush admits that 14 suspects have been detained in secret centres abroad

February 2007 Italy charges 26 Americans and five Italian agents with kidnapping Abu Omar

March 2007 Washington refuses to give up CIA agent for trial

June 2007 Trial delayed as Italian governments seek to throw it out

Source: Times database
A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want? ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The U.S. State Department expressed disappointment over the ruling.

It'd be nice if someone admitted being wrong for once
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Monkey Mcdermott

Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 3352

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Itd be nice if it happened in a country whose judicial system wasnt insanely rife with corruption.
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