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U.S. Will Not Extradite CIA Agents To Italy


http://gdb.rferl.org/a909afae-1feb-4b4f-b294-95d80cff6da7_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/a909afae-1feb-4b4f-b294-95d80cff6da7_mw800_mh600.jpg (epa) February 28, 2007 -- The United States says it will not extradite to Italy 26 Americans, mostly CIA agents, indicted over the alleged abduction of a Muslim cleric.

John Bellinger, the State Department's legal adviser, also said Washington has not yet received an extradition request.

A Milan judge has ordered the Americans to stand trial, along with Italian intelligence agents, for abducting the Muslim cleric in Italy in 2003 and flying him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.

The trial, set to open in June, will be the first criminal case stemming from the CIA's rendition program, in which terrorism suspects were secretly transferred to third countries.

Bellinger said ongoing inquiries into secret CIA activities in the European Union could undermine intelligence cooperation between the United States and the European Union.

He said a European Parliament report accusing several European countries of colluding with the CIA was "unbalanced, inaccurate, and unfair."

(Reuters, AP)
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