[JURIST] Milan prosecutor Armando Spataro [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that his office is once again pressing for the extradition of 26 Americans for their role in the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping [JURIST news archive; WP timeline] of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile] from Italy. Spataro was previously stonewalled [JURIST report] by the conservative and strongly pro-US government of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. He has filed a request to renew the investigation with the new center-left administration of Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
The kidnapping of Nasr from a Milan street in 2003 is believed to have been the product of a joint operation between CIA and Italy's Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website] and is alleged to have been a breach of Italian sovereignty as previous Italian governments denied complicity. Prosecutors have called the kidnapping a classic example of an extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive], where suspects are whisked away by American agents to a third country to be interrogated and allegedly tortured. All but one of the 26 Americans suspected in the kidnappings are CIA agents. SISMI intelligence officers are also implicated in the case. The extradition request indicates Spataro would prefer not to try the agents in absentia [JURIST report] as previously claimed. Indictments are expected to soon follow the extradition request. AP has more.