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29 Sep, 2009 22:43

CIA trial in Italy political?

In Italy, the first trial against the America’s “extraordinary rendition” program is coming to a close. Defense lawyer Mark Zaid claims that the Americans standing trial may be the victims of political games.

Twenty-six Americans and sevens Italians are accused of helping to kidnap terrorism suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a Muslim cleric, and move him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured.

According to prosecutors, the Americans involved were CIA agents who were working in cooperation with Italian special services. All the defendants denied the charges.

Zaid, who is defending former American diplomat Sabrina De Sousa, told RT that the Americans might become victims of internal Italian games.

“It clearly seems to be most likely that Italy was trying to make an internal political statement against the Berlusconi government because prosecutors believe Italians were involved,” he said. “Ironically, at the end of the day, it looks like all the Italians are going to be free because of state secrets over in Italy, and Americans are the ones who are going to end up being convicted.”

Meanwhile, Zaid stressed that although his client said she was following the orders of her superiors, she was not granted any diplomatic immunity.

This is the first case that deals with CIA’s practice of extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were transferred to countries where torture was allegedly allowed to take place. A verdict is expected by the end of the year.