A court in Italy will decide whether to charge 25 alleged CIA agents for participating in an act of “extraordinary rendition.” The trial, should it go ahead, will be the first to address the heinous tactic, by which the United States or its allies kidnap terror suspects in order to remove them to torture-friendly nations.


Among those facing prosecution is the retired CIA station chief in Milan, Robert Seldon Lady, who was reportedly rushed back to America, leaving behind the villa he had bought with his life savings.

According to testimony compiled for the case, Mr. Lady opposed the abduction [of a Muslim cleric] but was later overruled by his boss in Rome, who is also a co-defendant.

Lead investigator Armando Spataro has appealed to the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi to seek the extradition of the U.S. suspects.

It has not indicated whether it will. The previous administration of Silvio Berlusconi rejected the request.

Among the Italians accused of kidnapping is the former head of Italy’s military intelligence agency, Nicolo Pollari. Mr. Pollari recently lost his job following a parliamentary inquiry.

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