A trial on the apparent CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric in Milan has been suspended to allow time for Italy’s supreme court to rule on whether prosecutors overstepped their constitutional bounds. The trial is not expected to resume until late October. The Italian government conteds that the prosecutors should not have sought the extradition of the US agents, and thus revealed their identity.
On trial are 26 CIA agents and the former two top two agents of the Italian Military Intelligence Service (SISMI), for their role in the Feb. 17, 2003 “extraordinary rendition” of Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, the former head of Milan’s main mosque. Prosecutors say he was abducted by a team of CIA operatives with SISMI’s help and taken via Germany to Egypt to be interrogated. Nasr, who is also known as Abu Omar, was recently released from an Egyptian imprison, where he says he was tortured and threatened with rape. (Indo-Asian News Service, June 19)