U.S. will ignore Italy's CIA extradition

Feb. 28, 2007 at 8:29 AM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The United States will not honor an extradition request from Italy for 26 CIA agents suspected of abducting a Muslim cleric, a legal adviser said Wednesday.

John Bellinger, adviser to the U.S. State Department said at a news conference in Brussels no extradition request has been received for the agents, ordered this month by a Milan judge, along with warrants for six Italian intelligence officers.

"If we do receive one, we will not agree to extradite American officials to Italy," Bellinger said.

Egyptian refugee Abu Omar was the imam of Milan's main mosque when he disappeared on Feb. 17, 2003, and prosecutors claim the six Italian agents assisted the CIA in his abduction first to Germany and then back to Egypt for interrogation, the ANSA news agency said.

Omar was released from an Egyptian prison 10 days ago and said he wants to return to Italy, despite being wanted there on terrorism charges, the report said. Omar also said he plans to sue the Italian government.

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