September 19th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Italy upholds convictions of Americans in kidnap case

The Italian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans who were found guilty in absentia three years ago in connection with the 2003 kidnapping of a terror suspect in Milan.

The Americans, many of whom were thought to have worked for the United States' CIA, never appeared for trial and are not in Italian custody. The Italian government hasn't asked for their extradition.

The case centered on the "extraordinary rendition" of a Muslim cleric, Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, or Abu Omar. He was seized on the streets of Milan, Italy, in 2003, transferred to Egypt and tortured, he said. He was suspected of recruiting men to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and was under heavy surveillance by Italy's intelligence agency.

Prosecutors said he was nabbed by a CIA team working with Italian intelligence officials.

The trial was the first to deal with a practice that human rights groups call "extraordinary rendition." They say the United States has often sent suspects to countries that practice torture. Washington acknowledges making secret "rendition" transfers of terrorism suspects between countries but denies using torture or handing suspects over to countries that do.

A total of 22 Americans were each sentenced to five years in prison for their role in his abduction. Another - Robert Seldon Lady, whom prosecutors said was the CIA station chief in Milan - was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer told CNN in the past that the Italian military secret service had approved the operation involving Hassan, and CIA sources who refused to be named told CNN in 2005 that the agency had briefed and sought approval from its Italian counterpart for such an abduction.

The Italian government at the time - which was led by Silvio Berlusconi - vigorously denied having authorized Hassan's kidnapping, which it called illegal.

soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. steve

    "denies using torture or handing suspects over to countries that do." Like I really believe that. Our country has already been caught doing this and you can bet it has not stopped.

    September 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay bacon

      Good. Torture is what found Bin Laden, not your messiah Obama .

      September 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stuart18230

    for all those who don't care what these CIA animals do overseas (95% of the public I imagine) you should because your president has passed a law allowing him to do the same to you – no trial, just pick up and pop you in jail for as long as they like... (no mention of this story on CNN or if they did it's hidden away) – personally you can't really blame Americans for letting this stuff happen – you education is so bad it's a joke – your biggest export is waist – your banks are corrupt and own your government – half the population is in or near poverty – your in 16 trillion debt – your going down and I hope it happens soon, the world would be a better, safer place without you and your CIA

    September 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jazz

      inferioty complex much?

      September 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Stuart, you are aware that that it was written and was passed before the POTUS was elected, and he. HAD to sign it into law, RIGHT?
      And unless you do not reside in the United States of America, he is YOUR POTUS, also.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ddtrey

      Hey banasy, you do realize your President owned Congress for 2 years and neither close Guantanamo or repealed this law? What happened to the promises?

      Ans are you getting such good internet from you mud hut in Yemen?

      September 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      ddtrey, I was pointing out an error in Stuart's post, and again, unless you do not reside in the United States, he's YOUR President, also.

      September 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stuart18230

      I'm sorry for my post, looking back its a little mean – but your two party system is so corrupted that there is zero chance you will ever change your ways, Obama has carried on from where your last president finished – infact he is even worse! What did he change in four years? – and the funny thing is, you preach democracy to the rest of the word when yours is a total shambles – your beloved CIA sells drugs to to your own people to fund wars and when they get caught your president (bush) let's them off scote free – what country sells drugs to their own people? They killed jfk and you didn't do anything – you are so brain washed into thinking your vote can Change Somthing it's kind of Sad – like I said the only way things are going to change over there is via a revilotion but that's not going to happen untill your banks crash and people wake up and get crazy mad – but your government is already prepairing for this and it's happening right under your noses! Wake up America before it's to late – stop being lazy and start finding your news from other websites – if you don't your onky have your self to blame when it happens and is it going to happen soon!

      September 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      So, Stuart, what country do you live in?
      I truly want to know.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip 18230b


    September 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    If some nation had pulled the same stunt in America what would have happened? Berlusconi had assured Gates back in 2010 that he would get the convictions overturned ....but stuff happened. So these 23 guys can't vacation in Italy anymore!

    September 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DickPerry

    When will USA start to behave like a civilized country that follows international law and uphold human rights instead of being a model for dictatorships all over the world. No wonder Assad can kill his own citizens as long as he calls it a war on terror.

    September 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Do you confuse love of country with love of government often? Good thing you weren't a native German citizen prior to WWII. All lovin' on Hitler and everything.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Yes, when Hitler rose to power years before WWII, your avg. German knew about what you know of, say, Al Sharpton. Not a whole lot other than he's religious and talks a lot. Many of US say "oh yeah, i've heard of him". But by the time concentration camps had been built and were in operation (aka Bayer AG Zylon-B odorless gas is marketed to the German gov and used)...
    "Everyone knew about the camps."-Oskar Schindler
    However, by then "everyone" had confused love of country with love of government. Only a small number of German citizens were able to understand what was really happening. Very few knew or could even SEE that Nazis had torched The Reichstag. "Everyone" else was blinded by the light of government.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOMBO ©

    Where was Allah while all of this was happening? It must have been His Will.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    FBI Sybel Deniz Edmonds being gagged by federal court order did most of you folks a favor. For you have confused love of America with love of this government.
    America will still be here when Sibel Deniz Edmonds stands before congress and names the men both foreign and domestic who financed 9/11, LIVE on Cspan.
    Don't cry for these men. They are NOT America. We are.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Once these men are out of the way, America will change her ways, or goto Homeland Security Prison.
    Our streets will be safe and clean. Drug use of all kinds will be drastically reduced.Shysters of all kinds will have been dealt with by the CIA, using procedures YOU already approved for use on others.
    It's gonna be like it was. Not at all perfect. But NOT Babylon Rome America.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    @BOMBO. He was in heaven, silly. The earth is nothing more than a footstool for God's feet anyway. And don't think that the Rainbow means he doesn't have other ways of putting us out of our misery.
    Odd how people think God is involved with every little thing people do. That sort of thinking leads one to being more concerned with personal salvation than with salvation itself. (buddy jesus syndrome)

    September 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    ...but yeah. It's not all that hard to see God's hand in important matters like everyone coming to know and love his son, Jesus Christ. But right now, half of the worlds people don't even have electricity. They have no comfortable home to find shelter from the badness around them. Imagine not having a nice comfortable place to be with your children, especially if you are trying to teach them.
    No problemo. US and other national troops are invading and occupying one nation right after another. In their wake...ELECTRICITY.
    Everyone on earth will have a comfortable place to get to know the true Jesus Christ, son of God.
    Innocents slaughtered are truly resting in peace as we endure the misery of war. God has not forgotten them.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DHS Homeland Security Prison residents

    Currently, purty much all federal prisons are filled with non-violent marijuanna offenders. These inmates were not behind 9/11, not ENRON scamming US, not crackheads. Not murderers. Not boy humpers. Potheads. (sorry, fellas)
    Potheads are NOT why congress approved the largest prison building project in US HISTORY...the largest increase in prison funding EVER. and by now you realize they weren't built with "terrorists, int'l" in mind.
    Also, current inmates include those who know the truth about 9/11, and have a legal case pending in US court that cannot be legally settled w/o naming the men who financed 9/11.(Bridas v Unocal, Bridas v Turkmenneft). Hundreds of Bridas corp. employees are currently being held without phone calls.
    Following will be a list of those who will call DHS prisons home and workplace.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    I will forego making that list and see where Stuart is from. (just so I can shake *Stuart Little* as my file pic for Stuart 18230) Yes. I keep files. My file @saywhat has a picture, but it's blurry.
    I'll not be getting into my @banasy file this evening. ty And where has Joey Isotta-Fraschini gone? Gee whiz. Lleintulsa ain't got nuthin' on Joey being gone.
    No offense @ leeintulsa. I trust he is resting in peace even now as we endure.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    'Conspiracy Theory' with Jesse 'Ace' Ventura.
    Is that show even still *on*?

    September 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4