7 Italians plead innocent in CIA kidnapping

The trial against those allegedly involved in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric working in Milan continues to unfold in Italy. The defendants comprise seven Italians and 26 Americans, the latter who are being tried in absentia. Italy’s government chose not to ask for their extradition to Italy – they would rather have the case dismissed entirely on grounds of it being a threat to national security. Despite these setbacks, the prosecution forges on.

nicolopollariThe Italians, among them Italy’s former spy chief Nicolo Pollari (ex-head of SISMI, Italy’s military intelligence), all pleaded innocent in court on Wednesday. Pollari, suspected of helping the CIA carry out the kidnapping of Abu Omar, said that the evidence proving him innocent is classified. The other six Italians would not answer the prosecutor’s questions regarding the kidnapping, saying they were bound by laws of state secrecy. So all in all – not loads of headway.

According to the prosecution, the CIA – with the help of both American and Italian agents – kidnapped Omar and carted him off to Egypt, where he was subsequently tortured, interrogated, imprisoned and then released without charge.

The CIA’s kept very quiet over the course of the proceedings thus far.

pic courtesy of www.repubblica.it

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