Former CIA agent loses appeal against extradition to Italy

Portugal's Constitutional Court has rejected a former CIA operative's appeal against her extradition to Italy to serve a six-year sentence for her part in the U.S. extraordinary renditions program, a court official said Tuesday.

A judge ruled there were no constitutional grounds to reverse a decision by a lower court and the Supreme Court to send Sabrina de Sousa back to Italy, the official told The AP. He spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with the Constitutional Court's rules.

De Sousa was among 26 Americans convicted in absentia for the 2003 kidnapping in Milan of terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. She was arrested last October at Lisbon Airport on a European warrant.

It was not immediately clear whether the court's rejection of her appeal was final.

De Sousa's Portuguese lawyer, Manuel Magalhaes e Silva, was not immediately available for comment.

Her Italian lawyer has said he is hopeful of obtaining clemency from Italy's head of state. President Sergio Mattarella has granted clemency to other defendants convicted in the case.

The extraordinary rendition program was part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the U.S. administration following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. President Barack Obama ended the program years later.

A lower Lisbon court ruled in January that De Sousa should be turned over to Italy. The Supreme Court earlier this month rejected her appeal against that ruling.

De Sousa, who was born in India and holds both U.S. and Portuguese passports, was on her way to visit her elderly mother in India with a roundtrip ticket when she was detained.