On February 17, 2003, United States Agents abducted Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a suspected Islamic militant, on his way to his mosque. The agents took Nasr to an air base, flown to Germany, and then to Egypt, where Nasr claims he was tortured.
In 2009, the agents were convicted. One year later, an appellate court upheld their convictions. Two weeks ago, the matter was argued in Italy’s highest court where it upheld the convictions of the twenty-three Americans. Twenty-two of these were Central Intelligence Agency employees and the remaining defendant was an Air Force colonel. Twenty-two of the Americans received sentences of seven years, while the C.I.A. station chief received nine years. This case was one of the first, if not the first ruling that successfully challenged the American rendition program.
Currently, the Americans are located within the jurisdiction of the United States of America. At this point, it is unclear whether the Italian government will seek extradition of the Americans. While the United States and Italy have an extradition agreement, this request will likely create some tensions between the two countries.
This case represents a landmark victory for those that oppose the American practices of rendition. Whether this will create precedent that will force the United States and their allies to alter their methods remains to be seen, however, if the Italians seek extradition, this story will likely turn into a much larger issue than it currently is and pose a significant strain on Italian-American relations.
Based on a New York Times Article by Elisabetta Povoledo published on September 20, 2012, on page A5 of the New York edition with the headline: High Court In Italy Backs Convictions For Rendition.