Panama Arrests Ex-US Spy Over CIA Tactics

Authorities nab Robert Seldon Lady at Italy's behest
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2013 12:13 PM CDT
Judge Sergio Silocchi reads the sentence of the appeal trial on a CIA-led kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect at the Milan's court, Italy, Dec. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

(Newser) – A former American spy has been arrested in Panama at Italy's behest over his role in the CIA's controversial Bush-era extraordinary rendition tactic. An Italian court convicted Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA's Milan bureau chief, and more than 20 other agents of kidnapping in 2009, but by then they had all fled the country. Lady got a nine-year sentence, the only one long enough to merit extradition under Italy's guidelines, and there has long been an Interpol warrant out for his arrest.

The 59-year-old was detained Wednesday while crossing from Panama into Costa Rica, the AP reports. Panama, one of the most US-friendly nations in the region, has said nothing about the arrest, with the security minister telling the AP he knew nothing about it. It's unclear why Lady was in Panama. He had been staying in the US, but often traveled to Honduras, where he was born, according to the Washington Post, which has an in-depth recap of the entire rendition affair. (Read more extraordinary rendition stories.)

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