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Italian spy chief questioned over alleged CIA kidnapping case - Daily News Egypt

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Italian spy chief questioned over alleged CIA kidnapping case

Reuters MILAN: The head of Italy s military intelligence agency was questioned by prosecutors for the first time on Saturday on suspicion of helping the CIA kidnap a terrorism suspect in Milan, judicial sources said. The development makes Nicolo Pollari the highest ranking official connected to the Italian investigation, which has already led to the …


Reuters

MILAN: The head of Italy s military intelligence agency was questioned by prosecutors for the first time on Saturday on suspicion of helping the CIA kidnap a terrorism suspect in Milan, judicial sources said. The development makes Nicolo Pollari the highest ranking official connected to the Italian investigation, which has already led to the arrests of his No. 2 and another leader of his Sismi intelligence agency earlier this month. Both were released from house arrest on Saturday, but were believed still to be under investigation, a lawyer for one of the men said. Twenty-six Americans, most believed to be CIA agents, face arrest warrants over the 2003 abduction of radical Egyptian Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Prosecutors say a CIA-led team grabbed Nasr off a Milan street, bundled him into a van and flew him to his native Egypt. Nasr says he was tortured there while being questioned. A judicial source said prosecutors, investigating an Italian role in the abduction, questioned Pollari for about four hours at the Milan prosecutors offices, which were shut to the public and placed under heavy security. Prime Minister Romano Prodi met U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday in St. Petersburg but said the Nasr case did not come up. We didn t talk about bilateral issues, he said. A report by a Council of Europe investigator last month said the case was one of the most disturbing in a global spider s web of secret CIA flights of terrorist suspects. Italy s former government and Sismi have denied a role, but investigator Dick Marty said: It is unlikely that the Italian authorities were not aware of this large-scale CIA operation. Pollari could not be reached for comment. He has said Sismi had no knowledge of a plot to kidnap Nasr, who had political refugee status in Italy at the time of his abduction. Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister at the time of the abduction, has also denied any role and compared magistrates to terrorists for locking up intelligence agency officials meant to protect the country. Prodi s center-left government has so far defended Sismi and Defense Minister Arturo Parisi has encouraged Italians to distinguish between the agency and possible wrongdoing by some of its spies, an argument that becomes increasingly difficult with its top officials under investigation. The Egyptian cleric, now held in a prison outside Cairo, faces an Italian arrest warrant for suspicion of terrorist activity including recruiting militants for Iraq. He plans to sue Italy for ? 10,000 (LE 72,680) for its alleged role in his kidnapping. Additional reporting by Robin Pomeroy in St. Petersburg

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/07/17/italian-spy-chief-questioned-over-alleged-cia-kidnapping-case/
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