Monti asked to testify at Muslim cleric snatch retrial

Outgoing premier extended State-secrecy injunction says defence

Monti asked to testify at Muslim cleric snatch retrial

Milan, January 28 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti has been asked to testify at the trial of two Italian spies accused of taking part in the 2003 extraordinary rendition of a Muslim cleric from Milan. Defence lawyers acting for the former No.2 of the Italian secret service, Marco Mancini, argued Monti should take the stand because he recently extended a State-secrecy injunction imposed by previous governments in the case. Mancini and his former boss Niccolo' Pollari are being retried after two previous acquittals thanks to the injunction. In September Italy's top court of appeals upheld the convictions of 22 CIA agents and a retired US air force officer in the abduction of suspected jihadist recruiter Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, who was flown to Egypt where he says he was tortured. The court said they should be extradited but, like previous governments, Monti's did not request that. The case was the first judicial examination of extraordinary rendition, one of the controversial practices of America's war on terror, first authorised by Bill Clinton and extended by Obama on the condition that torture was stopped.

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