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Italy's Cassation denies govt involved in CIA snatch

Court upheld convictions of 22 spies in Muslim cleric abduction

29 November, 16:40
Italy's Cassation denies govt involved in CIA snatch (ANSA) - Rome, November 29 - Italy's highest appeals court on Thursday denied that the government authorized the CIA abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr in Milan in 2003. "It is untrue...that abducting Nasr was authorized by the Italian government," said the Cassation Court, calling such actions "impossible" according to Italian law.

"And also because the premier, in an official memo, ruled out any involvement," it said, commenting on its September ruling to uphold the convictions of 22 CIA agents and a retired US air force officer for abducting Nasr. In the closely watched case, the world's first judicial examination of the controversial United States practice of extraordinary rendition, the agents' terms were lengthened from 5-8 years to 7-9 years in December 2010.

The cleric, an Islamist wanted in Italy on suspicion of recruiting jihadi fighters, disappeared from a Milan street on February 17, 2003 and emerged from an Egyptian prison four years later claiming he had been tortured.