Ex-CIA agent loses appeal against extradition

2016-04-26 19:59
A 2012 file photo of  Sabrina De Sousa. (Nikki Kahn, The Washington Post via AP)

A 2012 file photo of Sabrina De Sousa. (Nikki Kahn, The Washington Post via AP)

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Lisbon - Portugal's Constitutional Court has rejected a former CIA operative's appeal against extradition to Italy to serve a six-year sentence for her part in the US extraordinary renditions programme, a court official said Tuesday.

A judge ruled there were no constitutional grounds to reverse a decision by a lower court and the Supreme Court to send Sabrina de Sousa back to Italy, the official told the AP. He spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with the Constitutional Court's rules.

De Sousa was among 26 Americans convicted in absentia for the 2003 kidnapping in Milan of terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. She was arrested last October at Lisbon Airport on a European warrant.

It was not immediately clear whether the court's rejection of her appeal was final.

De Sousa's Portuguese lawyer, Manuel Magalhaes e Silva, was not immediately available for comment. Lisbon court officials could not be contacted to provide the date when an extradition might take place.

Her Italian lawyer has said he is hopeful of obtaining clemency from Italy's head of state. President Sergio Mattarella has granted clemency to other defendants convicted in the case.

The extraordinary rendition programme was part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the US administration following the September 11 2001, attacks. President Barack Obama ended the programme years later.

A lower Lisbon court ruled in January that De Sousa should be turned over to Italy. The Supreme Court earlier this month rejected her appeal against that ruling.

De Sousa, who was born in India and holds both US and Portuguese passports, was on her way to visit her elderly mother in India with a roundtrip ticket when she was detained.

Read more on:    cia  |  us  |  italy  |  portugal

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