Italy: Convicted ex-CIA chief in Milan has been arrested.
Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr,
also known as Abu Omar, walks down a
Cairo street on April 11, 2007.
ROME | 24 Jul 2013 :: A former CIA base chief in Italy who was convicted in absentia in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from the streets of Milan, has been arrested, an Italian Justice Ministry official said Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to say where and when Robert Seldon Lady's arrest took place.
The Italian news agency Adnkronos quoted police in Panama as saying that Lady was taken into custody near the border with Costa Rica.[Link in Italian]
Other Italian news outlets reported that he was arrested while entering Panama from Costa Rica and that Italian authorities now have two months to request Lady’s extradition to Italy. [Link in Italian]
However, Panama’s security minister, Jose Raul Mulino, and the National Police press office told the Associated Press in Panama City that they were not aware of the detention.
Lady, the former Milan base chief, was sentenced last year by an Italian appeals court to nine years in prison in the kidnapping of the extremist cleric in 2003.
The cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was seized under a procedure known as “extraordinary rendition,” in which the CIA secretly detained terrorism suspects abroad and transferred them to third countries for interrogation. He was flown by the CIA to Egypt, where, he says, he was tortured, and released in 2004.
Lady was one of 23 Americans tried for their alleged roles in the operation, all but one of them CIA officers or contractors.
Three other Americans indicted in the case, including Jeffrey Castelli, the former CIA station chief in Rome, were given diplomatic immunity and acquitted in 2009. But this year, a Milan court vacated the acquittals and convicted them in absentia. Castelli, who works for a Los Angeles firm, PhaseOne Communications, was sentenced to seven years in prison and the other two to six years. (Courtesy: Los Angeles Time)