Italian Spy Boss Gets 10 Years for Helping CIA

Niccolo Pollari sentenced over imam's 'extraordinary rendition'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2013 8:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Italy's former head of military intelligence has been sentenced to a decade in prison for helping the CIA kidnap a Muslim cleric in Milan, Reuters reports. Three Americans have also been convicted in absentia over the plot, though they're not likely to serve their sentences. Egyptian imam Abu Omar, who lived in Italy, was taken to Egypt to be interrogated; he endured seven months of torture, he says.

The Italian court awarded more than $2 million to the imam and his wife. Niccolo Pollari will appeal his prison sentence to Italy's top court, his lawyer says, adding that the trial wasn't fair because officials applied state secrecy laws. Pollari's deputy was sentenced to nine years in prison; former CIA Rome station head Jeffrey Castelli was sentenced to seven years earlier this month.

A man walks past a banner with writing reading Justice for Abu Omar, in front of Milan's court house Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.
A man walks past a banner with writing reading "Justice for Abu Omar," in front of Milan's court house Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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