ROME, Italy (CNN/AP) Dec. 22 — A judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003, a prosecutor said Friday.
Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants allowed for the arrest of the suspects in any of the 25 EU member countries. Previously, Italy had issued arrest warrants for the 22 inside Italy.
Spataro has already sought the extradition of the 22 from the U.S. However, the request has remained with Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has sought more court documentation on the case before making any decision on whether to forward it to Washington, Spataro said.
Berlusconi Interferes with the Italian Courts
Earlier this week, Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a top U.S. ally, suggested the government may not push the prosecutors’ request with Washington saying, “I don’t think there is any basis in the case.”
Castelli, for his part, has also questioned Spataro’s motives in the case, suggesting the prosecutor was a leftist militant and anti-American.
Milan’s chief prosecutor responded by saying he fully supported Spataro, the investigation and its findings.
More below the fold »»
The 22 people allegedly were involved in the kidnapping of cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. The cleric, believed to belong to an Islamic terror group, was allegedly abducted on a Milan street on February 17, 2003, before being flown to Egypt, where he was reportedly tortured.
The operation was believed part of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program in which terrorism suspects are transferred to third countries where some allegedly are subjected to torture. Prosecutors say the cleric’s abduction was a serious violation of Italian sovereignty, and that it had hindered Italian terrorism investigations.
Tue Dec 6th, 2005 at 01:47:32 AM PST
Sun Jun 26th, 2005 at 04:51:38 PM PST
Fri Jun 24th, 2005 at 06:05:38 AM PST
“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”
▼ ▼ ▼ MY DIARY