[JURIST] Italian Justice Minister Clemente Mastella [official website, in Italian] told Rome's Il Messaggero daily on Monday that it is unlikely that Italy will seek extradition of 26 Americans who were indicted [JURIST report] last week for their alleged role in the February 2003 abduction [Washington Post timeline] and extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of alleged terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] in Milan. According to Mastella, Italy remains concerned about preserving its relationship with the US. The Italian Parliament [official website] is expected to make a final decision on whether to request extradition on Thursday.
In October, Italian prosecutors completed their investigation [JURIST report] and sought the extradition of the 26 American defendants [JURIST report]. Previous attempts by prosecutors to request extradition have been stonewalled [JURIST report] by the Italian government, but observers thought the new center-left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi elected last April might come to a different conclusion than the conservative and highly pro-American administration of former PM Silvio Berlusconi. Milan prosecutor Armando Spataro warned early last year that he would be forced to try the American defendants in absentia [JURIST report] if extradition were denied. US and Italian intelligence agents have pressed for a political resolution [JURIST report] of the case. AP has more.