Panama holds ex-CIA officer
PANAMA CITY — A former CIA base chief convicted in the 2003 abduction of a terror suspect from an Italian street was detained in Panama when Italy requested his arrest in one of the most notorious episodes of the U.S. program known as extraordinary rendition, Italian and Panamanian officials said on Thursday.
Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA chief in Milan, entered Panama, crossed the border into Costa Rica and was sent back to Panama, where he was detained, according to an Italian official familiar with Italy's investigation of the rendition of Cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the case.
A Panamanian National Police official said Lady, 59, had been detained on Wednesday on the Costa Rica-Panama border. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity.
The government of Panama, which maintains one of the region's closest relationships with the United States, was officially silent on the case. Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said that he was unaware of Lady's detention, and the press office of the National Police — which works with Interpol, the international police agency — said it had no information. The CIA also declined to comment.
Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was hustled into a car in February 2003 on a street in Milan and was transferred to U.S. military bases in Italy and Germany before being flown to Egypt. He alleged he was tortured in Egypt before being released.
Italy conducted an aggressive investigation and charged 26 CIA and other U.S. government employees despite objections from Washington. All left Italy before charges were filed in the first trial in the world involving the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, under which terror suspects were abducted and transferred to third countries, where many were subjected to torture.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Putin calls for exit corridor for Ukrainian troops trapped in southeast
- As German fears grow, Merkel ‘holds line’
- Beijing expected to restrict Hong Kong candidates
- Mexico operations thwart child, family migrants
- With eyes on China, Japan seeks record defense budget
- Ebola-infected student gives problem to Senegal
- Yemenis protest against Shiites
- Terror threat not foreign, Cameron tells Brits
- 5 authors of Ebola study died of virus during research
- Zimbabwe’s first lady enters politics amidst controversy
- U.S. student’s body found beside forest in Jerusalem