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How the CIA Renditioned a Radical Cleric (Excerpt from 'The Italian Job')

Convicted in absentia for the 2003 rendition of Muslim cleric Abu Omar, former CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa tells VICE News why she's still battling to clear her name.
November 17, 2015, 7:22pm

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Sabrina De Sousa is one of nearly two-dozen CIA officers who was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced by Italian courts in absentia in 2009 for the role she allegedly played in the rendition of a radical cleric named Abu Omar. It was the first and only criminal prosecution that has ever taken place related to the CIA's rendition program, which involved more than 100 suspected terrorists and the assistance of dozens of European countries.


But De Sousa, a dual US and Portuguese citizen, said she had nothing to do with the cleric's abduction and has been wrongly accused. For the past decade, she has been on a global quest to clear her name. VICE News met up with De Sousa in Lisbon, Portugal — and other key figures connected to the case — for an exclusive interview about the steps she's now taking in an effort to hold the CIA accountable for one of the most notorious counterterrorism operations in the history of the agency.

In this excerpt, De Sousa explains why she's continued to fight this battle to clear her name, and tells VICE News why she thinks the charges against her are groundless.

Watch: The VICE News Interview: John Kiriakou

Watch: An Ex-CIA Officer Speaks Out: The Italian Job

Read: A Radical Imam, His Alleged CIA Kidnapper, and Their 10-Year Hunt for Justice