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Media Watchdog Criticizes Italian Police Searches of Newspaper Offices


A media watchdog group has criticized Italian police searches of two newspaper offices in connection with an alleged kidnapping of a terrorism suspect by U.S. agents three years ago.

Reporters Without Borders Friday protested last week's searches of the La Repubblica newspaper's offices in Milan and Rome and the Piccolo newspaper's office in Trieste. Police seized papers, notes and computer files.

The group says the searches violate the principle of the secrecy of sources of investigative journalists and were used to get hold of information by force.

Reporters Without Borders says it believes the searches are part of an inquiry into accusations that the CIA kidnapped Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr in Milan in 2003. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, had been under investigation by Italian police for suspected ties to al-Qaida.

Some information for this report provided by AP.