[JURIST] A Portuguese court ordered the extradition of former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] operative Sabrina de Sousa to Italy Tuesday for a four-year prison sentence. De Sousa had been convicted in absentia along with 26 other Americans for the kidnapping of Soama Moustafa Hassan Nasr from Milan in 2003. The abduction took place as part of the US rendition program implemented by the Bush administration after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Under this program, suspected terrorists were kidnapped and transported to secure locations for interrogation and torture. The Portuguese Constitutional Court [official website] previously found that her extradition order was constitutional [JURIST report], and she has been awaiting the official extradition order. With this order, de Sousa was detained [Guardian report] by Portuguese police Monday and is expected to be extradited within days. De Sousa will be the first CIA operative to be jailed because of the rendition program.
Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was seized on the streets of Milan in 2003 by CIA agents with the help of Italian operatives. He was then allegedly transferred to Egypt and tortured by Egypt’s State Security Intelligence before being released [JURIST reports] in February 2007. In September 2009 the US Department of Justice [official website] filed a motion to dismiss [JURIST report] a lawsuit brought by De Sousa seeking diplomatic immunity against the Italian charges. De Sousa was one of many operatives whose sentences were increased [JURIST report] from five to seven years in 2010 by an Italian intermediate appellate court and upheld by the Italian Court of Cassation in 2012. In February the European Court of Human Rights condemned [JURIST report] Italy for its role in the rendition program.