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Italian Prosecutor Asks For Indictments in Milan Kidnapping of Muslim Cleric


Italian prosecutors have asked for the indictments of 26 Americans and at least six Italians, including the former chief of Italian military secret services, on charges of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in 2003.

All but one of the Americans are thought to be CIA agents. Nicolo Pollari was chief of Italian military secret services until a shake-up of Italian intelligence agencies in late November.

Italy's previous government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had turned down the requests of Milan prosecutors for extradition warrants against the Americans. A new request addressed to the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi is still pending.

Prosecutors say CIA agents, with the assistance of Italian security officers, kidnapped Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street in February 2003. They say he was then flown to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.

Former Prime Minister Berlusconi, who was in power at the time, has denied the Italians collaborated with the Americans.

Italian and Egyptian officials have not commented.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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