After 9/11, Italy's Division of General Investigations and Special Operations (DIGOS) began monitoring Omar, who was the imam at a radical mosque where he gave fiery anti-American sermons and was suspected of recruiting jihadists to fight Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. The law enforcement agency had also been secretly passing intelligence they collected about the cleric to the CIA's station chief in Milan, Robert Seldon Lady. He too was one of the CIA officers convicted by Italy in the Abu Omar case; when prosecutors searched his villa after he was indicted, they found a photograph of Abu Omar that was taken one month before his abduction.
'The Italian trial blatantly disregarded international law and treaty obligations, and the conduct of the in absentia proceedings simply followed one alleged human rights abuse with another.'
Not long after Abu Omar was released in 2007, an Italian court issued indictments against 26 Americans — 25 CIA officers and an Air Force Colonel who was later pardoned — and officials from Italian's intelligence services alleged to have orchestrated Abu Omar's rendition.Twenty-three of the Americans, including De Sousa, were convicted in absentia in November 2009 on kidnapping charges and ordered to pay Abu Omar 1 million euros, and to pay his wife 500,000 euros. Their sentences were upheld on appeal three years later. (Italy's President, Giorgio pardoned the Air Force colonel in 2013.)In August of 2009, Abu Omar's attorneys filed their application, alleging human rights violations, with the European Court of Human Rights. At the same time, De Sousa stepped up her own efforts.Jenks, the law professor, noted that the Italian government never asked for the US to extradite the CIA officers, a point he thinks Abu Omar's attorneys will raise at the hearing next week.
'I am going to make Obama admit that this rendition took place.'