AI calls for CIA agent return to Italy

AI calls for CIA agent return to Italy

Sat, 20 Jul 2013 08:40:20 GMT

Amnesty International has called for the return of a former CIA agent to Italy to face justice for his part in the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric in Milan, which was part of the US-led rendition program.

The New York-based organization said on Saturday that the CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, has evaded justice by leaving Italy before his trial and that he should answer to the charges against him in person.

Italian justice ministry’s press office on Thursday announced that Lady, also known as “Mister Bob,” has been arrested in Panama. However, it is not clear when and where he has been arrested.

““Amnesty International welcomes the arrest of Robert Seldon Lady and calls on the Panamanian authorities to extradite him to Italy,” the human rights organization said.”
Panama has reportedly refused to extradite Lady to Italy, where he has been sentenced to nine years in prison by an Italian appeals court for the 2003 abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar.

Twenty-two other Americans involved in the kidnapping were each sentenced to five years in prison.

The court ordered each of the 23 convicts, none of whom appeared for the trial, to pay one million euros (about $1.3 million) to Abu Omar, plus 500,000 euros to his wife.

The Muslim cleric was transferred to US military bases in Italy and later in Germany before being flown to Egypt. He was later set free in Egypt.

Rendition was first authorized by former US President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and it was stepped up after ex-US President George W. Bush declared his so-called “war on terror,” under which it abducted, jailed and tortured suspects without legal charges.

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