Twenty-three CIA agents are going to have to think twice about leaving the U.S. now that an Italian court has convicted them in absentia for snatching an imam in Milan and sending him to Egypt, where the cleric says he was tortured.

Human Rights Watch’s Joanne Mariner praised the decision: “Both the Italian and US governments should now be on notice that justice authorities will not ignore crimes committed under the guise of fighting terrorism.”

The agents in question are basically safe, unless they land in a country that has extradition agreements with Italy. If they slip up, they could face five to eight years in prison — and Italian prisons are not like Swedish prisons. This is a country where lifers have actually asked for the death penalty.

The Obama administration condemned the verdict, no doubt disappointing countless supporters not employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. — PZS

AFP via Yahoo:

An Italian judge Wednesday convicted 23 US and two Italian secret agents for the CIA’s kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003 under the covert “extraordinary rendition” programme.

The CIA’s Milan station chief at the time, Robert Seldon Lady, was sentenced to eight years in prison and the other Americans to five years, all in their absence in the landmark trial.

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