A number of Italian intelligence agents and CIA operatives are facing possible prosecution in what would be the world’s first criminal trial over so-called ‘renditions’. Italian prosecutors have asked a judge to order them to stand trial over the alleged abduction and torture of a Muslim cleric. It’s claimed Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was kidnapped as a terrorism suspect in Milan in 2003. He says he was flown to Egypt where he was tortured. The plot is said to have involved 26 American agents working in collaboration with six Italian intelligence officers.
The judge considering the case must call a preliminary hearing to decide if there’s enough evidence for a trial, but even defence lawyers are reported to believe it will go to court. The US acknowledges secret transfers of terrorism suspects to third countries, but denies torture claims. It’s thought highly unlikely Washington would hand over agents to an Italian trial.