13 Sep 2013

Pardon sought by former CIA station chief

7:40 am on 13 September 2013

Former CIA Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady has asked President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy to pardon him for kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric under the US extraordinary rendition programme.

Lady was among 23 American personnel convicted for abducting Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr from a street in Milan in 2003 and taking him to Egypt for questioning.

He was tried in absentia in 2009 and sentenced to nine years in prison. Last year his final appeal was rejected.

Lady's lawyer Tom Spencer confirmed on Thursday that a pardon request had been made.

"I ask you and Italy for personal forgiveness and legal pardon," Lady said in a letter delivered to the president's office on Wednesday.

"I have never had anything but the best intentions for the people of Italy and I ask its forgiveness."

In an interview published in La Stampa newspaper on Thursday, Lady denied that Abu Omar had been tortured during the seven months he was held captive.