Abu Omar Trial Begins in Rome CIA Kidnappers Accused by Italian Court

The first trial related to the kidnapping of a terror suspect by the CIA has begun in Rome. The trial focuses on the case of Muslim preacher Abu Omar, kidnapped in 2003.


Muslim preacher Abu Omar was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in early 2003. He is to speak as one of more than 120 witnesses in a trial against his kidnappers.
SPIEGEL ONLINE

Muslim preacher Abu Omar was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan in early 2003. He is to speak as one of more than 120 witnesses in a trial against his kidnappers.

Twenty-five agents of the US foreign intelligence service CIA and one other US citizen have been accused in absentia of being responsible for the kidnapping of terror suspect Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, alias Abu Omar. The kidnapping was carried out in Egypt in early 2003.

In addition, seven Italian citizens face accusations before the court, including the former director of the Italian military intelligence service, Nicolo Pollari. The Italian constitutional court will probably assess a government request that the trial be discontinued and an additional legal protest in the fall. It was therefore expected that the defense would today call for the trial to be postponed until the country's highest judges have reached their decision.

Abu Omar was seized on a street in Milan in early 2003 and is thought to have been flown to Egypt via the US military base Ramstein in Germany. The imam stated that he was heavily tortured during his detention. In the view of the Italian public prosecutor's office, the Italian intelligence agency supported the CIA kidnapping. The prosecution wants Nasr to speak as a witness in the trial. The total number of witnesses is more than 120.

Also today, the Swiss rapporteur to the Council of Europe, Dick Marty, will present his second report on CIA kidnappings. In the report, of which SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained a copy, Marty claims, for the first time, to have discovered proof for the existence of so-called "black sites" or secret CIA prisons in Poland and Rumania.

anr/AP/dpa/yas

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