Italy sinks CIA rendition case

2009-03-12 08:02
Rome - Italy's highest court on Wednesday dealt a potentially fatal blow to the trial against 26 Americans accused of involvement in the alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect in Milan in 2003.

The Constitutional Court sided with the Italian government in saying that prosecutors used classified information to build the case and threw out some key evidence on which the indictments were based.

Though the judges did not formally throw out the indictments, lawyers said the ruling would at least set the case back.

State lawyer Massimo Giannuzzi said prosecutors would have to seek new indictments based on the remaining evidence or reopen the investigation altogether.

"We are quite satisfied," Giannuzzi said. "There will have to be a new preliminary hearing to decide if the remaining evidence is enough for new charges."

Victim tortured

The American suspects - all but one identified by prosecutors as CIA agents - were accused along with seven Italian agents of kidnapping an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street on February 17 2003, in an "extraordinary rendition" operation coordinated by the CIA and Italy's SISMI military intelligence.

Prosecutors say Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was then transferred to US bases in Italy and Germany before being moved to Egypt, where he was imprisoned for four years. Nasr, who has been released, said he was tortured.

The Italian government denies any role in the operation, while the CIA has declined to comment on the case.

The trial in Milan was suspended pending the Constitutional Court's ruling, which had been delayed several times.

When the trial resumes, Judge Oscar Magi must turn over evidence deemed classified, notably files of thousands of dossiers on prominent public figures seized from the Rome apartment of a SISMI agent, Pio Pompa.

Also thrown out is testimony by Luciano Peroni, an intelligence officer allegedly at the scene of the kidnapping.

Wednesday's ruling was "a victory for the state attorney," said Alessia Sorgato, a lawyer defending several of the Americans, noting that Peroni's testimony had been "fundamental" to the prosecution's case.

However, most of the stricken evidence pertained to the Italian defendants, and Sorgato said it was still possible that the case against the Americans could continue.

- SAPA
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.