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News > World

Ex-CIA Agent to be Extradited to Italy for 2003 Kidnapping

  • The CIA headquarters in Langely, Virgina, is pictured in this undated photo.

    The CIA headquarters in Langely, Virgina, is pictured in this undated photo. | Photo: AFP

Published 22 April 2016
Opinion

Sabrina de Sousa will be extradited from her home in Portugal to Italy to serve a four year sentence for the CIA-sponsored kidnapping of a suspected terrorist.

Portugal has deemed legal the extradition of a convicted ex-CIA operative to Italy on charges of kidnapping.

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Sabrina de Sousa, a dual U.S.-Portuguese citizen and former CIA agent who took part in the 2003 "rendition" (a word used by the CIA for their seizure of wanted suspects) of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, an Egyptian national the U.S. believed was engaged in terrorist activities, will be delivered to Italy after May 4. Her appeal to the Portuguese Supreme Court was denied last week.

Sousa resigned from the CIA shortly before her conviction in absentia in 2009, and has already exhausted the appeal process in Italy. However, Portuguese courts have stated that after she is extradited, she should have the right to a new trial, or at least the ability to present new evidence and a witness in an appellate court.

Armando Spataro, one of the Italian prosecutors who contributed to the criminal convictions of around two dozen Americans, including Sousa, in connection with the kidnapping, said she would be sent straight to prison, “and that’s that,” according to the New York Times. Sousa is to serve, at minimum, four years in prison.

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Many of her co-conspirators have been awarded full or partial pardons from the Italian government, and Sousa's lawyers intend to point out this fact to the Italian justice system. The case was observed closely by international law experts.

Nasr was also sentenced in absentia to six years for terrorist activities by an Italian court. After he was kidnapped by the CIA, he was taken to a military base before being sent to Egypt, where his family claims he was tortured.

Sousa's case was a point of contention for U.S.-Italian relations for years. It is currently unknown if Italian President Sergio Mattarella plans to pardon her.

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