Arrest warrants issued in Italy for 13 alleged CIA people on kidnapping charges

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ten men and three women allegedly linked to the CIA have been ordered arrested by an Italian judge for allegedly kidnapping a terrorism suspect in Italy and then secretly taking him to Egypt where he said he was tortured. The Italian prosecutors office confirmed the arrest warrants relating to the abduction of imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr on Feb. 17, 2003. An unnamed judicial source said; "In the judge's order, it (the abduction) is clearly attributed to the CIA."

The CIA's response to the allegation was: "We're not commenting. We're saying: if we have anything to say, we'll get back to you."

Human rights groups have criticised the CIA in the past for the practise known as extraordinary rendition. According to these groups, it involves moving suspects from the country where they are captured to a third country where torture is routinely used during interrogations. A number of ex-detainees have alleged that they were tortured in countries such as Egypt and Syria after being captured by the CIA. Maher Arar, a Candadian citizen, sued the US Government earlier this year, claiming that he was sent to Syria, his country of birth, and tortured for a number of months before the Canadian government obtained his release. The suit was dismissed under the rarely used State Secrets Privilege.

In January President Bush said in an interview with the New York Times that, "torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture."