Wednesday 22 April 2009, by New York Times
Italy’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that Italian prosecutors had violated state secrecy in their case against American and Italian intelligence operatives. The decision by the Italian Constitutional Court was a significant blow to a case in which the CIA, the American Air Force colonel, and several Italian intelligence officials are charged with the seizure of an Egyptian terrorism suspect in 2003.
The suspect, Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, an imam known as Abu Omar, was seized in Milan in an instance of what has become known as an «extraordinary rendition» – in which terrorism suspects are sent for interrogation to other countries, some of which use torture.
Prosecutors contend that the defendants kidnapped Mr. Nasr, took him to American military bases in Italy and Germany, and eventually to Egypt. The ruling on Wednesday did not throw out the original indictments, but deemed much of the evidence as inadmissible.
This article calls to attention the transnational networks of governments, law enforcement agencies, and their responsibilities associated with carrying out terrorism investigations. Ensuring that these actors cooperate fully in intelligence gathering highlights that such investigations do not end up being rendered inadmissible, but requires the working together of all involved.