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Guilty verdicts for 3 CIA agents upheld in Italy

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 5:42 p.m.
 

MILAN — Italy's highest court upheld guilty verdicts on Tuesday against the final three U.S. defendants in the 2003 extraordinary rendition kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect.

The decision, after a series of trials spanning six and a half years, brought to a close the only prosecution to date against the Bush administration's practice of abducting terror suspects and moving them to third countries that permitted torture.

The court upheld guilty verdicts and confirmed the seven-year sentence against the CIA's former Rome station chief Jeff Castelli and six-year sentences against two others identified as CIA agents. All three had been acquitted in the original trial becaue of diplomatic immunity.

The three are among 26 Americans, mostly CIA agents, who have been found guilty in absentia of kidnapping Milan cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, in broad daylight from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003. They received sentences of six to nine years.

Though lower courts found the CIA had worked alongside Italian secret services, the high court last month acquitted Italy's former head of military intelligence and the former head of counter-intelligence, as well as three Italian agents, after the Constitutional Court ruled key testimony was classified as state secret.

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