Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation [official website, in Italian], on Tuesday upheld guilty verdicts against three US defendants in the 2003 extraordinary rendition kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect. The three Americans are CIA agents who participated in the kidnapping of terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [JURIST news archive] on a Milan street. The final ruling made by the Italian courts comes after a series of trials spanning six-and-a-half years. The evidence produced against the agents was a result of Italian detective work which discovered documents and cellular records linked to the kidnapping. Of the three CIA agents, Rome station chief Jeff Castelli was given a seven-year sentence while the other two received a six-year sentence.
The rendition of Nasr has resulted in substantial judicial activity in Italy. In February Italy's highest court dismissed [JURIST report] the convictions of five Italian agents related to the abduction and extraordinary rendition of Nasr. The five agents [AP report] included the former chief of Italy's SISMI Intelligence service [official website, in Italian], Nicolo Pollari, his deputy, and three other agents. Pollari was sentenced [JURIST report] by a Milan court of appeals in February 2013 to 10 years in prison. In December an Italian court sentenced [JURIST report] Nasr to six years in prison after being convicted in absentia of terror charges. Last September a former Italian intelligence chief requested a pardon [JURIST report] from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano [official website, in Italian] after a US Air Force Colonel was granted [JURIST report] a pardon in April from Napolitano. The original convictions [JURIST report] in 2009 arose out of a three-year trial, in which 23 former CIA agents were sentenced.