Rights court slams Italy in cleric's CIA-led abduction

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The European Court of Human Rights has ruled Italy abused state secrecy to provide impunity in the abduction of an Egyptian cleric, who was spirited out of Italy for interrogation and torture in his homeland under the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

The court on Tuesday ordered Italy to pay compensation to Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, and his wife. The court concluded Italian authorities "were aware that Abu Omar was a victim of the extraordinary rendition operation" involving his kidnapping on a Milan street.

The court said Italy violated the cleric's rights not to undergo mistreatment and torture.

Italian courts convicted 26 Americans in absentia in the case. Italy's top criminal court dismissed five Italian intelligence agents' convictions, saying classified information was involved.