Italy begins trial in absentia of Egyptian cleric

Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr (AKA Abu Omar) has gone on trial in absentia in Italy on charges of criminal association with the goal of terrorism and aiding illegal emigration with the goal of terrorism, based on an investigation from 2002. Before the investigation could be concluded and charges filed, Nasr was kidnapped from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003, through the US Central Intelligence Agency's "extraordinary rendition" program. Prosecutors requested a prison sentence of six years and eight months for Nasr's alleged role in organizing false documents in order to recruit people for a terror camp. A verdict is expected within the next month.

The revelation of the rendition of Nasr and others has resulted in strong criticism. In October the European Parliament officially chastised EU member states' complicity with the CIA's rendition program, stating that the program has led to violations of fundamental rights and must end immediately.

From Jurist, Nov. 23. Used with permission.