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Prosecutors question Italy spy chief in CIA abduction case

[JURIST] Italian prosecutors on Saturday questioned Nicolo Pollari, chief of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services [official website], regarding his role in the alleged CIA extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile], also known as Abu Omar. Italian police arrested two intelligence officials [JURIST report] with the Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder] earlier this month in connection with the kidnapping. According to a judicial source the questioning lasted approximately four hours and took place under heavy security.

Pollari, along with other senior intelligence members and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have denied any role in Nasr's alleged kidnapping by US CIA operatives, which the Council of Europe has cited [JURIST report] as an example of the "global spider's web" [COE graphic] of secret prisons and rendition flights operated by the CIA in Europe. COE investigator Dick Marty has stated, however, that "it is unlikely that the Italian authorities were not aware of this large-scale CIA operation." Arrest warrants stemming from the 2003 abduction remain for 26 Americans, most of whom are believed to be CIA agents. Reuters has more.

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