Italian PM Fair Game in Trial Involving US Rendition

Berlusconi can be called to testify on secret matters in kidnap trial, judge rules
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 3:31 PM CDT
Judge Oscar Magi speaks at the trial for the kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, May 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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(Newser) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can be called to testify in the upcoming trial of US and Italian spies, an Italian judge ruled today. A CIA-led group is accused of kidnapping a suspected terrorist off the streets of Milan and torturing him for four years under the US' "extraordinary rendition" approach. Berlusconi isn’t accused of anything; instead, he’d testify regarding secret government matters.

The defense wants Berlusconi to testify about classified documents that Italy’s accused former spy chief says will prove his innocence, Reuters reports. Berlusconi became prime minister just last week, but he would still be significant as the first head of state forced to testify in a US rendition trial. His predecessor, Romano Prodi, can also be called.