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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More