World Bulletin / News Desk
A former CIA station chief received a seven-year jail sentence on Friday for the kidnap of an Egyptian Muslim cleric during former president George W. Bush's term.
A Milan appeals court also handed down two six-year sentences to two American officials for the same crime, the first of kidnappings organised by the United States.
The cleric, an Egyptian imam known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a Milan street and flown to Egypt for interrogation, where he says he was tortured for seven months. He was resident in Italy at the time of the abduction.
Former Rome CIA station chief Jeffrey Castelli and the two other defendants were tried in their absence and are unlikely to serve their sentences, but they will be unable to travel to Europe without risking arrest.
The CIA declined a request for comment.
Castelli was among 26 U.S. nationals indicted by Italian authorities for their involvement in the 2003 kidnap. The judgment overturned a previous ruling by a lower court, which acquitted the three on grounds of diplomatic immunity.
Last September Italy's highest court upheld guilty verdicts for 22 CIA agents and one Air Force pilot for the kidnapping.
In that case, all of the Americans were sentenced to seven years' jail except former CIA Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady, who was handed a nine-year sentence.
The new ruling may boost attempts to shed light on heavy-handed CIA tactics during the administration of President Bush and was welcomed by human rights group Amnesty International.
"Many European governments are deeply implicated in the rendition and secret detention programme and any court attempting to find out the truth about these practices is welcomed," Amnesty's Expert on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights, Julia Hall, said.
In December a landmark European Court of Human Rights ruling found a German car salesman, Khaled El-Masri, to be an innocent victim of torture and abuse by U.S. authorities, and condemned the CIA kidnappings that seized him in Macedonia and secretly flew him to Afghanistan for interrogation.
In 2007 the European Parliament found at least 1,245 CIA flights were made into or over Europe in the four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
The annual Trafficking in Persons report has upgraded Cuba, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan to a higher tier as worst offenders for failing to suppress human trafficking.
The ECB will need to extend its money-printing as a result of subdued growth in the Euro zone.
An EU official has said that they "barely know how to talk to ordinary people" and have launched video clips on YouTube to counter misconceptions about the Trans Atlantic partner deal.
Hague-based tribunal attributes move to procedural reasons, but Palestinian diplomat suspects pressure from Israel
Restarting would depend on Syria becoming stable, Russian Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists executive director says.
Viktor Orban suggested that ethnic Hungarians living in Romania should be given an authonomy
Majority in favor of cabinet under Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu
East African country is last stop on US President's Africa tour
Negotiations for new bailout deal start in Athens
Over five years passed since Detroit's imam was shot dead by four FBI agents
Israeli police spokesperson alleges that 18-year-old died after falling from rooftop while resisting arrest
Cameron is reported to be keen on holding early referendum
Creditors continue to push for economic reforms while economy shrinks
Russia adopts amendments to 2001 maritime doctrine, focusing on annexed Crimea and the Arctic
French police have opened fire on a car that drove through the barriers in the famed cycling tournament.