Ex-CIA agent ordered to face rendition conviction in Italy: court papers

LISBON A Portuguese court has decided to extradite an ex-CIA agent to Italy, where she has been convicted of involvement in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric under the U.S. “extraordinary rendition” program, legal papers showed on Friday.

Sabrina De Sousa, a joint U.S.-Portuguese citizen, was one of 26 people convicted in absentia on charges of snatching Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr from a street in Milan in 2003 and taking him to be questioned in Egypt.

The case focused attention at the time on the treatment of suspects moved around the world for interrogation in the wake of the Sep. 11 2001 attacks and strained relations between Washington and Rome.

De Sousa’s lawyer told Reuters on Friday there were no grounds for extradition and he would appeal to Portugal’s top court.

De Sousa was arrested in Portugal in October at the request of Italian prosecutors, who want her to serve a six-year sentence.

The regional court of Lisbon ordered on Tuesday that De Sousa “be handed over to Italian authorities so that she can be notified of the initial decision,” according to a copy of the court decision sent to Reuters on Friday.

“We have not been notified of the decision yet,” her lawyer Manuel Magalhaes e Silva told Reuters. “But when we are notified, which might be on Monday, we will appeal it at the supreme court.”

“Sabrina was not notified of the (Italian) sentence, she was tried in absentia and was not notified of the verdict and sentence,” he added.

The Portuguese court said De Sousa would only be sent to Italy to be informed of her sentence and would then return to Portugal to serve it.

(Reporting By Shrikesh Laxmidas; Writing by Axel Bugge)

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