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12 years sought for ex-Italian spy chief in CIA snatch case

04/02/2013

On retrial for role in Milan cleric extraordinary rendition

12 years sought for ex-Italian spy chief in CIA snatch case

Milan, February 4 - Prosecutors in Milan on Monday requested a 12-year prison sentence for former SISMI secret service chief Nicolo' Pollari, on trial for involvement in the abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr from the city in 2003. Prosecutors at the Milan Court of Appeals also requested 10 years for ex-No.2 Marco Mancini and eight-year sentences for three former operatives in SISMI, now AISE. The supreme Cassation Court ordered a retrial of the suspects in September, when it upheld the convictions of 22 CIA agents and a retired US air force officer for their roles in the case. Pollari and Mancini have repeatedly been acquitted on appeal in the past because of the State-secrecy injunction. Nasr, an Islamist wanted in Italy on suspicion of recruiting jihadi fighters, disappeared from a Milan street on February 17, 2003 and emerged from an Egyptian prison four years later claiming he had been tortured. The cleric, who is also known as Abu Omar, did not attend the trial. Prosecutors say he was snatched by a team of CIA operatives with SISMI's help and taken to a NATO base in Ramstein, Germany, en route to Cairo. The retrial is part of the world's first judicial examination of the controversial United States practice of extraordinary rendition. None of the CIA operatives have ever appeared in court here. Milan's Court of Appeals on Friday sentenced the CIA's former Italy chief, Jeff Castelli, to seven years in prison and two other agents to six years. Extraditions are being sought. On the same day a separate court in Perugia acquitted Pollari for alleged breach of protocol and illegally obtaining files in the case, charges that are separate from those he faces in Milan.