Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Italy's former military intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Tuesday for his role in the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric in an operation organized by the United States.
An American former CIA station chief was this month sentenced in absentia to seven years in jail after imam Abu Omar was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation during the United States' "war on terror".
For the CIA, it is quite clear how explosive the Italian case is for them. At the outset of the investigation, all Spataro had was a list of over 10,000 different cell phone calls. Using that as a basis, and with the help of meticulous research, he produced the entire indictment. At the beginning he believed that only the CIA was involved in the operation -- at the end seven Italian agents also stood in court. 
The length of Spataro's final speech to the court alone showed just how extensive his investigations had been. The first part at the beginning of October lasted seven hours by itself, the second part almost nine. He described the course of the investigation to the court using an elaborate PowerPoint presentation. "Otherwise nobody would have understood it," he said. 
His opponents have repeatedly tried to stop him. Spataro also investigated the actions of his own government. During the trial, he revealed details of the cooperation between Italian and US intelligence. In March, the Italian Constitutional Court ruled, at the behest of Silvio Berlusconi's government, that all the documents which concerned relations between the intelligence services were state secrets. This was a serious blow for Spataro, as it meant he could no longer use much of the evidence relating to the involvement of Italian agents in the operation. That evidence included recorded phone calls and the testimony of several witnesses, including the former SISMI boss Gianfranco Battelli. Battelli had said that Jeff Castelli, the then-CIA station chief in Rome, had asked him in a conversation to cooperate with the kidnapping of terror suspects 
...The defense attorneys had attacked the prosecutor by saying his whole case was inadequate and was based on a permanent violation of state secrets. They had called for acquittals across the board. 
In that respect, Judge Magi did not only decide on Wednesday about the guilt or innocence of the Italian and American agents and not only about the legality of kidnapping in the fight against terrorism. He also delivered a verdict as to whether a European government can use the pretext of state secrets to avoid being accountable before the law.
Prosecutor on Rendition Case: Kidnapping a 'Disgrace And Should Be Prosecuted'
A German prosecutor who investigated the CIA's kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Abu Omar in 2003 under the infamous rendition program tells SPIEGEL how he had to close the case due to a lack of information from US organizations. He says the kidnapping was a "disgrace" and that he would have filed indictments, if he had been able to.
Again: Adrian Vermeule... would have... none of it.
"Experts" do not understand democracy. They don't even understand inquiry.

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