Italy: Rendition court case decision a step towards ending impunity
Yesterday’s decision by Italy’s High Court to uphold convictions against 22 CIA agents and a US military official for the 2003 abduction of Egyptian national Usama Mostafa Hassan Nasr - known as Abu Omar - is a step towards ending impunity for rendition and torture, Amnesty said today.
After being seized in Italy, Usama Mostafa Hassan Nasr was transferred to Egypt where he was tortured. The court also ruled that five senior Italian secret service agents, whose cases had previously been dismissed, should be tried for their role in the abduction.
Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights, said:
"This important decision is another step towards accountability for violations that took place during the US rendition operations.
"We are especially pleased that the High Court has sent the cases of the Italian intelligence officials back for retrial.
"The High Court has recognised that blanket claims of state secrecy cannot be used to shield the government from accountability for human rights violations."