News / USA

Ex-CIA Official Wanted in Italy Returns to US

VOA News
The U.S. State Department says the former CIA Milan chief convicted in Italy of kidnapping an Egyptian terror suspect is headed back to the U.S. after he was detained in Panama this week.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Friday that she understood Robert Seldon Lady was either en route or back in the United States. She would not give further details.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed senior U.S. administration official as saying Panamanian immigration officials "expelled" Lady after he was detained on Thursday.

Lady was one of 23 CIA agents convicted in absentia in 2009 for the 2003 abduction of radical cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street.

Panama detained Lady, who faces a nine-year prison term in Italy, after he tried to cross the border into Costa Rica. It is unclear how U.S. authorities will handle Lady and Italy's request for his extradition.

After his abduction, the cleric, Abu Omar, was eventually transferred to Egypt, where he was interrogated and allegedly tortured to gain information on his suspected links to terrorist organizations. He was released from Egyptian detention in 2007 without having been charged.

The trials of Lady, now retired from the CIA, and two other U.S. agents were the first convictions of U.S. intelligence operatives who had been involved in a procedure known as "extraordinary rendition." Under the procedure, U.S. agents secretly detained terrorism suspects abroad and transferred them to third countries for intensive interrogation.

Three other Americans indicted in the case were granted diplomatic immunity and acquitted in 2009.  But earlier this year, a Milan court vacated the acquittals, convicted them in absentia and then sentenced two of them to six-year prison terms and the third to a seven-year term.

An Italian court found Italy's secret services also were complicit in the rendition, and a former Italian intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this year.   former deputy received a nine-year sentence, and three other officials got six years each.  

Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper reports the Italian government authorized an international arrest warrant for Lady in December.  But it says warrants were not issued for other CIA operatives convicted in the case because their prison sentences did not meet the minimum for an extradition request.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid