Italy convicts 23 US agents in CIA kidnapping trial

The CIA's Milan station chief at the time, Robert Seldon Lady, was sentenced to eight years in prison and the other Americans to five years, all in their absence at the landmark trial.

The two Italians were given three-year prison terms after the first trial involving the transfer of a "war on terror" suspect by CIA operatives thought to have sent scores of people to countries known to practise torture.

The CIA chief for Italy at the time, Jeffrey Castelli, and the then-head of Italian military intelligence SISMI, Nicolo Pollari, were protected by state secrecy rules, while two other American defendants benefited from diplomatic immunity, Judge Oscar Magi said.

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that Washington was "disappointed by the verdicts against the Americans and Italians" in the trial.

"Our view is the Italian court has no jurisdiction over Lieutenant Colonel (Joseph) Romano and should have immediately dismissed the charges," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

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