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Italian President pardons U.S. officer

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Italian President pardons U.S. officer

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Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has pardoned a U.S. Air Force officer for the alleged kidnapping of a Muslim cleric, in a bid to promote closer diplomatic and security ties with the United States.

Colonel Joseph Romano and 21 CIA members were tried in absentia three years ago and sentenced for seven years for forcibly taking Abu Omar away for interrogation on a CIA rendition flight.

Such covert tactics formed part of former U.S. President George Bush’s “War on Terror” but have since been condemned as a violation of human rights.

The Egyptian cleric was a resident in Italy at the time of the alleged abduction from an Italian airbase.He claims he was flown to Egypt and tortured for seven months.