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Italian PM called in trial of top spies

Jan. 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM

ROME, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Italy's prime minister has been called to testify in the trial of two former spies accused of sending a Muslim cleric to Egypt for interrogation, officials say.

Mario Monti should testify, defense attorneys for the former intelligence officials say, because he recently extended a secrecy injunction in the case that had been put in place by previous governments, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

Marco Mancini, a former deputy director of the Italian secret service, and his former boss, Niccolo Pollari, are being retried after being twice acquitted because of the injunction.

Twenty-two CIA agents and a retired U.S. Air Force officer were convicted in Italy of kidnapping suspected terrorist recruiter Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr in Milan in 2003 and flying him to Egypt -- a tactic referred to as extraordinary rendition -- where Nasr said he was tortured.

Italy's top appeals court upheld the convictions in September.

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