Italy Upholds Rendition Convictions for 23 Americans

Published on
by
The Guardian/UK

Italy Upholds Rendition Convictions for 23 Americans

Ruling is world's first judicial review of CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries

by
Andrea Vogt and agencies

Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, claims he was tortured in prison in Egypt after being kidnapped in Milan. (Photograph: EPA)

Italy's highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation's ruling is the final appeal in the world's first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition.

The 23 Americans were all convicted in absentia following a trial that lasted over three years. The verdict paves the way for the Italian government to seek redress and could put the Americans at risk of arrest if they travel to Europe. [...]

Mark Zaid, a US lawyer representing one of the prosecuted women, said the court ruling damages the integrity of the system of diplomatic immunity.

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