[QODLink]
Americas

Former CIA bureau chief returning to US

Bob Seldon Lady, ex-CIA Milan bureau chief, is heading back to US from Panama where he was detained on Italy's request.

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 20:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Egyptian imam, Osama Mustafa Hassan, known as Abu Omar was snatched from a street in Milan in 2003 [EPA]

The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Milan who was detained in Panama on Italy's request is on his way back to the United States, the US State Department has said.

"It's my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States," spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Friday when asked about the whereabouts of the officer.

But she gave no further details about the case which has been shrouded in secrecy.

The American spy, Bob Seldon Lady, was convicted in absentia along with 22 other CIA agents in 2009 by Italian authorities over the kidnapping of an Egyptian imam.

The imam, Osama Mustafa Hassan, a ultra-conservative Islamic opposition figure better known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a street in Milan in 2003 in an operation co-ordinated by the US spy service and the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI.

'Extraordinary rendition'

The Italian justice ministry announced Lady's detention in Panama on Thursday but it was unclear when he was taken into custody or whether he remained a CIA employee.

The former head of the CIA station in Milan, now 59, received the heaviest sentence, which was increased from eight to nine years on appeal in 2010.

The case was one of the world's biggest to take aim at Washington's controversial "extraordinary rendition" programme, which was set up in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks to capture and interrogate suspected terrorists.

Under the programme, suspects were transported back to their home countries that were often known to use torture.

The United States has said little about the case and refused to extradite the CIA officers.

When asked about the latest developments in the case, the CIA declined to comment on Friday.

292

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.