Portugal to extradite ex-CIA agent to Italian jail

2017-02-21 22:30
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 - A Portuguese court has ordered police to extradite a former CIA agent to Italy, where she is due to serve a four-year prison sentence after being convicted of involvement in a US programme that kidnapped suspects for interrogation, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Police took Sabrina de Sousa to a Portuguese jail where she is awaiting extradition, said her Portuguese lawyer, Manuel Magalhaes e Silva.  She was detained on Monday and is expected to be sent to Italy within days.

De Sousa was among 26 Americans convicted for kidnapping suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nas, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street on February 17 2003. She denied involvement in the abduction.

The US rendition programme, under which terror suspects were kidnapped and transferred to centres where they were interrogated and tortured, was part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the Bush administration following the September 11 2001 attacks. Former President Barack Obama ended the programme years later.

De Sousa lost several appeals against extradition since her arrest at Lisbon Airport in October 2015 on a European warrant. She had argued she was never officially informed of the Italian court conviction and couldn't use confidential US government information to defend herself.

De Sousa is expected to be jailed immediately upon her arrival in Italy in a prison in either Rome or Milan, her Italian lawyer Dario Bolognesi said. Once she is incarcerated, Bolognesi said he would make a formal request for her to be granted semi-freedom and serve her sentence doing social work.

At the same time, Bolognesi said he was due to meet Italian Justice Ministry officials to assess the status of De Sousa's request for clemency.

Read more on:    cia  |  italy  |  portugal

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