Milan judges say CIA Italy chief 'mastermind' in snatch case

'Immunity does not apply to human rights violations'

Milan judges say CIA Italy chief 'mastermind' in snatch case

Milan, February 21 - An Italian appeals court in Milan on Thursday said that Jeff Castelli, the former head of America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Italy, was the "mastermind" behind an operation which led to the abduction of former Milan imam Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr. In 2003 Nasr was taken to Egypt, where he was held and questioned under torture, as part of America's controversial "extraordinary rendition" anti-terrorism program. The judges had formerly sentenced Castelli and two other CIA operatives to jail sentences for their involvement in the operation, which caused uproar in Italy and strained relations with the US. The three agents - who were accredited with the US embassy in Rome - were previously acquitted by a lower court after it found they were protected by diplomatic immunity. The Milan appeals court, however, said that immunity could not be applied in cases of conduct "contrary to human rights". (photo: Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr)

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