Former Italy intelligence chief moves to stop CIA abduction trial

[JURIST] Lawyers for Nicolo Pollari, the former head of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services (SISMI) [official website], moved Monday to stop Pollari's trial on charges that he was involved in the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping [JURIST news archive; WP timeline] and rendition of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile]. Pollari's lawyers argued at the preliminary hearing that the evidence proving his innocence is classified information. The presiding judge has the option to rule on the point or refer the case to the Italian Constitutional Court [official website], which would then have to rule on the constitutionality of the Italian criminal code article which says that a defendant can be tried even if part of the evidence regarding him is classified.

The Italian cabinet relieved Pollari of his duties [JURIST report] as the head of Italy's intelligence agency in November 2006. Pollari has testified before parliamentary committees, denying allegations [JURIST report] that he assisted the CIA with the extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive]. In addition to Pollari, 34 other Italian officials and CIA agents [JURIST report] face trial for their alleged involvement, although proceedings against the CIA operatives are very likely to take place in absentia as the US is not expected to hand them over. Nasr was reportedly seized by CIA agents with the help of SISMI on the streets of Milan in 2003 before being taken to an American airbase and then to Egypt. AKI has more.

 

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