Italian Jail Cell Looms for Ex-CIA Officer 'Betrayed' by US

She was convicted of helping abduct a terror suspect in Milan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2016 4:11 PM CDT
Italian Jail Cell Looms for Ex-CIA Officer 'Betrayed' by US
Sabrina de Sousa, a former CIA officer, says she's days away from being imprisoned in Italy.   (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via AP, File)

A former CIA officer says she's days away from being sent to an Italian prison and blames the US government for not doing more to help her, ABC News reports. In 2003, the CIA abducted Egyptian cleric and terror suspect Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr from Milan, Italy, under its "extraordinary rendition" program. Nasr says he was transferred to Egypt, where he was tortured. At the time, Sabrina de Sousa was working undercover for the CIA in Italy but tells NPR she was 150 miles away on a ski trip with her son during the week Nasr was kidnapped. Nevertheless, de Sousa was one of 26 Americans convicted of violating Italian law by abducting Nasr. She faces four years in prison, the Guardian reports.

De Sousa has been living in Portugal and fighting extradition—without any apparent help from the US government. "The US government won't intervene because they don't want me implicating anyone else as I try to counter the charges against me," de Sousa tells ABC. She says she feels "abandoned and betrayed" by her own country. De Sousa appealed her extradition to Portugal's highest court but lost that appeal Wednesday. She believes her next stop is an Italian prison and has asked Pope Francis for help. In a strange twist, while the US government isn't speaking up for de Sousa, the man she is said to have helped kidnap is. “The US administration sacrificed them," Nasr tells the Guardian. "All of those higher up in the hierarchy are enjoying their immunity." He says de Sousa is a "scapegoat." So far, none of the 26 Americans convicted by Italy have seen jail time. (More extraordinary rendition stories.)

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