Italy Convicts CIA Agents of Kidnapping
2003 case is first to challenge practice of extraordinary rendition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 4, 2009 11:12 AM CST
Prosecutor Armando Spataro speaks in a Milan court, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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(Newser) – An Italian judge today convicted 23 Americans of the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street, in a landmark case involving the CIA's extraordinary rendition program in the war on terrorism. Judge Oscar Magi acquitted three other Americans, citing diplomatic immunity. Former Milan CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady received the stiffest sentence, eight years in prison. The other 22 each received a five-year sentence. All were tried in absentia.

All but one of the Americans were identified by prosecutors as CIA agents. Their lawyers entered innocent pleas on their behalf, and they are considered fugitives from Italian justice. They were convicted of kidnapping Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr and transferring him to US bases in Italy and Germany. He was then moved to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. Nasr was released after four years in prison without being charged.