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Italy’s ex-intelligence chief sentenced for role in abduction

ROME — An appeals court in Milan sentenced Italy’s former military intelligence chief to 10 years in prison Tuesday for complicity in the abduction of an Egyptian Muslim cleric in an operation organized by the United States under a program begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The court sentenced the former chief, Niccolo Pollari, to 10 years and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years for their role in the kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, in 2003. Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.

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Twenty-three Americans, including Robert Seldon Lady, a former CIA base chief in Milan, were tried in absentia in the Abu Omar case in 2009 and convicted. All but one of them were CIA agents. Three other Americans indicted in the case, including the former CIA station chief in Rome, were given diplomatic immunity and acquitted in 2009, but the Milan court vacated the acquittals this month and convicted them in absentia.

Nasr was kidnapped under the practice of ‘‘extraordinary rendition,’’ in which people suspected of being Islamic militants were abducted in one country and then transferred to another, often one where torture was common.

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