Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Italian court convicts 23 in CIA rendition case
An Italian court on 04 November convicted 22 CIA operatives and a U.S. Air Force colonel of orchestrating the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric here in 2003 and flying him to Egypt, where he said he was tortured. The case is the only instance in which CIA operatives have faced a criminal trial for the controversial tactic of extraordinary rendition, under which terrorism suspects are seized in one country and forcibly transported to another without judicial oversight. A similar case involving a German citizen kidnapped in the Balkans has resulted in arrest warrants and a civil lawsuit but has not gone to trial.
The CIA and other U.S. officials have contended that extraordinary renditions, which began during the Clinton administration and accelerated under the Bush White House after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are permissible under U.S. law to capture terrorism suspects in foreign countries.
"I am not guilty. I am only responsible for following an order I received from my superiors," R. S. Lady said. "It was not a criminal act. It was a state affair."
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