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Italian court issues arrest warrants for more CIA agents

2005-07-25 13:53:00

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Italian court issues arrest warrants for more CIA agents
Last Updated Mon, 25 Jul 2005 13:54:29 EDT
CBC News

An Italian court has issued arrest warrants for six more alleged CIA agents, accusing them of helping kidnap an Egyptian Muslim cleric in 2003, a court official says.

In June, a judge issued warrants for 13 alleged CIA operatives, but turned down the requests for six others accused of involvement in the abduction of Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr. Prosecutors appealed last week.

On Monday, a three-judge panel in Milan granted the warrants, a court official told the Associated Press, requesting anonymity.

The prosecutors allege that CIA agents snatched the radical cleric, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in February 2003 and sent him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.

The cleric was already being investigated in Italy as part of a terrorism inquiry.

The abduction was reportedly part of the Central Intelligence Agency's "extraordinary rendition" program that transfers suspects without any court approval to a third country, where they could be questioned and possibly tortured.

A report published in the Washington Post on June 30 said CIA chiefs in Rome briefed Italian officials prior to the purported operation. Italian and American officials agreed to deny any knowledge of the operation if it were ever made public, said the report.

Italy's government has denied any knowledge of the alleged operation.

Italian prosecutors have asked Interpol to help find the suspects and are preparing extradition requests.

Copyright ©2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/07/25/italy-cia-050725.html?print

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