by John Hooper
4 Nov 2009
Italian court convicts Robert Lady and 23 others in absentia
First prosecution for US abduction of suspects to torture states
The former head of the CIA in Milan has been given an eight-year jail sentence for kidnapping at the end of the first trial anywhere in the world involving the agency’s “extraordinary rendition” programme.
Robert Lady was tried in his absence and convicted of helping to organise the seizure of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in February 2003. His superior, Jeff Castelli, the head of the CIA in Italy at the time, was acquitted on the grounds that he was covered by diplomatic immunity. Most of the other 23 alleged CIA operatives on trial were given five-year jail sentences in their absence.