Egyptian cleric Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, who was allegedly abducted by CIA agents from a Milan street in 2003, flown to Egypt and tortured in jail there, told French daily Le Monde on Thursday he "expects nothing" from the trial starting in Milan on Friday of 26 Americans and and six Italians alleged involved in his kidnapping. "Justice will not be done," he said.
Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, was due to appear as a chief witness at the trial, but although he was released from jail in February, the Egyptian authorities have prevented him from leaving the capital, Cairo, where is living in an undisclosed location.
The Italian embassy in Egypt also reportedly denied Nasr a visa for Italy citing a problem with his documents. "I have lost everything," he told Le Monde. He was formerly an imam at Milan's mosque.
"The United Nations, the Council of Europe and non-governmental organisations preach equality under the law for Europeans and Westerners, but when Muslims are involved, these words are not worth the paper they are written on," Nasr commented bitterly.
No request to extradite American agents
He claims the Italian government is hiding behind state secrecy and that the American secret service agents will not attend the trial. The trial is the first criminal case over "extraordinary renditions" of terrorism suspects and Italy's prime minister Romano Prodi has so far refused to forward to Washington a judiciary request to extradite the American suspects, most of whom are believed to be CIA agents. The former head of Italy's SISMI military intelligence agency Nicolo Pollari is among those Italians in the dock.