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Former CIA chief requests pardon from Italy president

The office of Italy's president [official website, in Italian] on Thursday confirmed that it has received a pardon request from a former Milan Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] station chief who was sentenced to nine years in prison for the 2003 kidnapping and rendition [JURIST news archive] of Egyptian terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. Robert Seldon Lady wrote to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano [official profile], pleading to be pardoned and absolved for his role in kidnapping the Muslim cleric under the US extraordinary rendition policy. Last September the Italian Court of Cassation upheld Lady's conviction, as well as that of 22 other former CIA officers.

In April Napolitano pardoned US Air Force Colonel Joseph Romano of his conviction related to the CIA abduction and extraordinary rendition of Nasr. Joseph Romano was security chief of northern Italy's Aviano air base where Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was abducted prior to being flown to Egypt. Nasr was seized on the streets of Milan in 2003 by CIA agents with the help of Italian operatives, then allegedly transferred to Egypt and tortured by Egypt's State Security Intelligence before being released [JURIST reports] in February 2007. The US Department of Defense welcomed [press release] the news of Napolitano's pardon.

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