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Italy Justice Minister doubts prosecutor motives for wanting CIA agents extradited

[JURIST] Italian Justice Minister Roberto Castelli [official profile] has cast doubt on the motivations behind a Milan prosecutor's request for the extradition of 22 CIA agents accused of participating in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003 [JURIST report]. Castelli suggested Tuesday that prosecutor Armando Spataro was a leftist animated by "anti-Americanism". Castelli is conducting an investigation into the request to determine if the accusations are well-grounded. The 22 CIA agents are accused of kidnapping cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile], a suspected member of an Islamic terror group, in Milan and then flying him to Egypt to be tortured. The kidnapping is allegedly part of a CIA extraordinary rendition [Wikipedia backgrounder] program where terror suspects are kidnapped and taken to other countries without court approval. Prosecutors claim the kidnapping was a violation of Italy's sovereignty and obstructed ongoing Italian terrorism investigations. Milan's chief prosecutor has released a statement supporting Spataro. AP has more.

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