WASHINGTON — The United States said Wednesday it is “disappointed” with the convictions in Italy of 23 US and two Italian secret agents for the CIA’s kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003.
“We are disappointed by the verdicts against the Americans and Italians charged in Milan for their alleged involvement in the case involving Egyptian cleric Abu Omar,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.
He declined to comment further pending a written opinion from the judge. He expected the case to be appealed.
The CIA’s Milan station chief at the time, Robert Seldon Lady, was sentenced to eight years in prison and the other Americans to five years, all in their absence in the landmark trial.
The two Italians were given three-year prison terms following the first trial involving the transfer of a “war on terror” suspect by CIA operatives thought to have sent scores of people to countries known to practice torture.
Osama Mustafa Hassan, an imam better known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a Milan street on February 17, 2003, in the operation coordinated by the CIA and SISMI.
The radical Islamist opposition figure, who enjoyed political asylum in Italy, was allegedly taken to the US air force base in Aviano, northeastern Italy, then flown to the US base in Ramstein, Germany, and on to Cairo where he says he was tortured.
The “extraordinary rendition” programme was set up by the administration of then-president George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action
Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.
Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.
Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.
Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East
The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.
Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.
The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.
‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’
The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."
Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.
"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"
"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.