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Switzerland suspends Abu Omar CIA rendition investigation

[JURIST] Switzerland has suspended an investigation into US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] agents allegedly involved in the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr [JURIST news archive], a spokesperson from the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office said Friday. The Swiss Federal Council authorized the criminal proceedings [JURIST report] in February 2007 based on alleged unlawful use of Swiss airspace by US agents in anti-terrorist operations. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, says he was kidnapped by the CIA with help from Italy's Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website] while he was in Milan, Italy in 2003. He says he was then flown to Germany via Swiss airspace en route to Egypt, where he was tortured.

In October 2007, an Italian trial of 26 CIA agents allegedly involved in the Nasr rendition was suspended [JURIST report] pending a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Italy [official website] on a petition [JURIST report] filed by the Italian government to dismiss all charges. The government alleged that the charges should be dismissed because the prosecution improperly used state secrets and wiretapping to build its case. Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro argued that the court proceedings should continue and has denied using any state secrets. AP has more.

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