Lawyers ask Italian court to throw out CIA case involving 26 Americans

Lawyers ask Italian court to throw out CIA case

MILAN — Lawyers for 26 Americans and seven Italians on trial for the alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect asked a Milan court on Wednesday to throw out the case.

The request is based on a March decision by Italy’s Constitutional Court, which threw out some key evidence, saying prosecutors used classified information to build the case.

The court also ruled that any testimony revealing details of joint operations between the CIA and Italy’s secret services was inadmissible.

The American suspects — all but one identified by prosecutors as CIA agents — are charged along with seven Italian agents in the disappearance of Muslim cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, allegedly kidnapped on a Milan street in 2003 as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program.

Prosecutors say Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was taken to U.S. bases in Italy and Germany before being moved to Egypt, where he was imprisoned for four years. Nasr, who has since been released, has said he was tortured.

Italy’s government denies any role in the operation. The Americans are being tried in absentia and the CIA has declined to comment on the case.

Prosecutors were expected to argue later Wednesday that the trial should continue. It was not immediately clear when the court would rule on the defense’s request.

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