Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CIA Agents Charged With Kidnapping

Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr
MILAN, Italy (AP) -- An Italian prosecutor on Tuesday requested the indictment of 26 Americans and five Italian secret service officials on a charge of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003 -- a case that continues to be an irritant to U.S.-Italian relations.
Prosecutor Armando Spataro, who has been leading the investigation, said the indictment request is aimed at CIA agents and the former head of the Italian military intelligence Nicolo Pollari for alleged involvement in the kidnapping.
All but one of the Americans have been identified by the prosecution as CIA agents, including former station chiefs in Rome and Milan, and the 26th as a U.S. Air Force officer stationed at the time at Aviano air base near Venice.
Spataro last month asked the new center-left government of Romano Prodi to request the Americans' extradition, but has not yet received a response.
"There will certainly be a response," Justice Minister Clemente Mastella said in Rome.
The operation was believed to be part of an alleged CIA "extraordinary rendition" program in which terrorism suspects are transferred to third countries where some are allegedly subjected to torture. It is the first known prosecution of alleged participants in such operations, which have come under increasing criticism by America's allies in Europe.
The United States and Italy have an extradition treaty, although it was not likely that CIA agents would be turned over for trial abroad. In some instances, only the aliases of the agents are known, a further impediment.
Obviously the U.S. will never turn over these agents, but it's an interesting story as you don't often see anyone standing up and questioning the right of the U.S. government to do whatever it wants, legal or not.


Anonymous Dennis Klein said...

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12/28/2006 3:23 AM  

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