An Italian court sentenced 23 US CIA agents in absentia to prison for the abduction and 'extraordinary rendition' of Muslim cleric from Milan in 2003.
After two years of wrangling to head off a case that centered around the Bush administration's practice of abducting alleged terrorists abroad and sending them to friendly third states for interrogation, Italian prosecutors won a stunning victory on Wednesday, when 23 US intelligence agents were convicted in absentia by a Milan court for kidnapping.
The practice of "extraordinary rendition" became common for the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US, with hundreds of alleged militants abducted in Europe and Central Asia and elsewhere, and delivered to states like Algeria, Egypt, and Syria, where torture is often used against presumed enemies of the state. The US says it received assurances that torture would not be used. But the practice has been especially controversial in Europe, where roughly 100 Muslim men have been abducted.