Three Americans, which includes a former CIA station chief, were convicted Friday, February 1st as a result of an abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street as a part of the CIA’s extraordinary extradition program. The three were convicted in absentia by a Milan appeals court. The men were previously acquitted by a lower court in 2009. Their convictions mean that, in all, 26 Americans have been found guilty for the abduction.
The convictions in this case had historical implications, as they were the first convictions ever levied against CIA agents who were allegedly involved in conduct that led to torture. Rome station chief Jeffrey Castelli was sentenced to seven years in prison. Betnie Medero and Ralph Russomando were each issued six-year sentences.
None of the Americans ever either appeared in court or been in Italian custody, and they can potentially be arrested if they travel to Europe. Last year, Italy’s highest court upheld (in absentia) the convictions of the other 23 Americans involved in the kidnapping of the suspect, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. Upon his abduction, Nasr was transferred to two different U.S. military bases in Europe, and then was flow to Egypt. It was in Egypt where Nasr claims he was tortured. Nasr was later released.
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