First rule of being a Spy: Don’t Get Caught.
If you are interested in reading more about this case, and the CIA Practice of Rendition that occurred Post 9/11, check out A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial. -SF
The Portuguese Supreme Court has upheld a decision to extradite to Italy a former C.I.A. officer who was convicted in absentia in connection with the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003, as the administration of George W. Bush ordered renditions after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The former officer, Sabrina De Sousa, is a dual American and Portuguese citizen who has denied wrongdoing or involvement in the kidnapping, which took place while she worked undercover for the C.I.A. as a diplomat in Milan.
Her lawyer, Manuel Magalhães e Silva, said on Monday that he would appeal the decision to the Constitutional Court. The appeal, he said, would be based on the fact that there is no certainty his client will get a retrial in Italy, while the Portuguese Constitution guarantees a retrial in cases where the verdict is rendered in absentia.
Ms. De Sousa was briefly detained at a Lisbon airport in October after a European arrest warrant was issued. She was later released, after her passport was confiscated, pending a review of her case by the courts.
In an 11-page ruling made public on Monday but dated from a month ago, the court said that it did not find any reason to defer the execution of the European arrest warrant for Ms. De Sousa.
Mr. Magalhães e Silva said by email that it was not clear how long it would take for the Constitutional Court to reach a decision.
In 2006, Ms. De Sousa was among 26 Americans — believed to be 25 C.I.A. officers and one military officer — who were indicted in Italy for their involvement in the kidnapping of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a Muslim cleric known as Abu Omar, who was abducted from a Milan street in broad daylight in February 2003.
The cleric was held at an American military base in Germany before being flown to Egypt, where he claims to have been tortured before his eventual release.
The kidnapping led to tensions between the United States and Italy, and more broadly became a symbol of the American practice of renditions, in which a terrorism suspect is captured and delivered to another country for interrogation.
Mr. Nasr was sentenced, in absentia, by an Italian court in December 2013 to six years in prison for terrorist activities, although he never served the sentence.
Ms. De Sousa, who resigned from the C.I.A. in 2009, was sentenced in absentia in Italy to six years in prison. She has asked the Italian authorities for a pardon.
The Portuguese Supreme Court rejected Ms. De Sousa’s appeal after a lower court ruled that she should be handed over to the Italian authorities.