[JURIST] An Italian court has set a hearing for January 9 to determine whether to issue indictments for over 30 US and Italian intelligence agents in the alleged kidnapping and extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive]. Italian prosecutors last week asked a judge to issue indictments [JURIST report] for 26 US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] agents and five officials from the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website], including former SISMI chief Nicola Pollari. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, claims he was tortured after being grabbed off a street in Milan and ultimately sent to Egypt. If Judge Caterina Interlandi determines that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial in the case, the trial would be the first criminal prosecution stemming from US rendition practices.
In October, prosecutors said they had completed their investigation [JURIST report] into the incident and would once again press for the extradition of 26 American agents [JURIST report] believed to be involved in the case. If extradition is once again denied, Milan prosecutor Armando Spataro has said he would be forced to try the US agents in absentia [JURIST report]. This summer, several Italian intelligence agents were arrested [JURIST report], and last month the Italian cabinet removed Pollari [JURIST report] from his post, despite his denials of involvement [JURIST report] in the incident. Reuters has more.