Italian President Sergio Mattarella granted a partial pardon [press release, in Italian] Tuesday for ex-CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa related to the kidnapping [Reuters report] of an Egyptian cleric form a Milan street in 2003. The cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, “was taken to Egypt for questioning under the U.S. “extraordinary rendition” program.”De Sousa was one of 26 people who were convicted in absentia for the kidnapping. The partial pardon stated that one of the considerations was the discontinued practice of extraordinary rendition. De Sousa was originally sentenced to seven years imprisonment, which was later reduced to four years by a previous partial pardon. The new partial pardon reduces the sentence to three years. De Sousa has been held in Portugal since October 2015. She was at a Portuguese airport awaiting extradition to Italy when word of the partial pardon was received. Because the sentence is now at three years, she can choose to complete the sentence through community service, which can be completed in Portugal.
A Portuguese court ordered [JURIST report] the extradition of De Sousa to Italy in February. Nasr was 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 2016 the European Court of Human Rights condemned [JURIST report] Italy for its role in the rendition program.