Friday, December 23, 2005

Italian Judge Issues New Warrants For CIA Operatives

CBS News | New Warrants For CIA Operatives | December 23, 2005 08:03:39:
(CBS/AP) A judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003, a prosecutor said Friday.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants allowed for the arrest of the suspects in any of the 25 EU member countries. Previously, Italy had issued arrest warrants for the 22 inside Italy.

Spataro has already sought the extradition of the 22 from the U.S. However, the request has remained with Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has sought more court documentation on the case before making any decision on whether to forward it to Washington, Spataro said.

Earlier this week, Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a top U.S. ally, suggested the government may not push the prosecutors' request with Washington saying, 'I don't think there is any basis in the case.'

Castelli, for his part, has also questioned Spataro's motives in the case, suggesting the prosecutor was a leftist militant and anti-American.

Milan's chief prosecutor responded by saying he fully supported Spataro, the investigation and its findings.
Ironically, it was Berlusconi who started this when he said he had no knowledge of the operation back in June, and that therefore it was not possible for Italy to have given authorization. He can't use the Woodward Maneuver now, trying to play down the importance of the case, when the justice people are the ones issuing the warrants. They obviously feel it's important. Maybe Silvio shouldn't have been so quick to believe Condoleeza.

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