Wednesday, May 14, 2008

War on terror trial resumes in Italy

Wouldn't that be a kick, if Italy forces the United States to face its recent path of international activities that violate Western standards of legality and decency? This question has arisen because an Italian judge ruled today that Italy's premier, Silvio Berlusconi, will testify in the trial of 26 U.S. residents accused of kidnapping in a CIA operation. The U.S. residents are believed to be CIA agents. The case, the first in the world involving the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, a Bush administration invention that allows the United States to kidnap foreign nationals in other countries and transport them to places that allow torture, concerns the 2003 disappearance of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, who disappeared from a Milan street. Nasr was under investigation in Italy for suspicion of involvement in international terrorism at the time of his disappearance. Prosecutors in Italy say Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was transferred to U.S. bases in Italy and Germany before being imprisoned in Egypt for four years. He was released last year, and claims he was tortured. Judge Oscar Magi approved the calling of former Premier Romano Prodi and senior officials from both Berlusconi's and Prodi's past governments. The U.S. suspects are still in the United States and are being tried in absentia.

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