WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A former U.S. CIA station chief in Italy has reached out to the Italian president seeking to be pardoned for his role in the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric.
Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, was among 23 Americans sentenced in absentia in 2009 for kidnapping Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Italy and flying him to Egypt, where Nasr was held and tortured by Egyptian officials for seven months, The Telegraph, Britain, reported.
Lady wrote a letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano asking to be pardoned from his sentence, saying he was acting "under orders from senior American officials in liaison with senior members of the Italian government" when he participated in the kidnapping.
"Your advisers will inform you, I am sure, that my efforts and those of my colleagues were able to stop numerous plans and targets of terrorists operating in Milan and elsewhere in Italy," the letter said.
"After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, my government took extraordinary steps and extraordinary risks for those extraordinary times, in order to protect lives," Lady wrote. "I regret the circumstances which existed in 2003 and I regret my participation in any activities which could be viewed as contrary to the laws of Italy. I ask you and Italy for personal forgiveness and pardon."