Abu Omar Rendition Conviction

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Major news outlets have reported the (perhaps somewhat surprising) conviction of 23 American and 2 Italian intelligence agents by an Italian court for the 2003 ‘extraordinary rendition’ of Abu Omar (for coverage, see here, here, here) and here. This is I believe the first such conviction in any Western country – the decision itself was announced orally, while the written reasons will follow eventually. Our readers might be interested in a topical article (available on SSRN) on the Abu Omar case by Francesco Messineo, which is due to be published shortly in the JICJ, and which I’ve had the opportunity to read in draft.

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Colin Liew says

November 5, 2009

I agree with Marko that the Italian decision is quite surprising, though this should be seen in the context of the Italian courts' liberal attitude towards State immunity in general (see e.g. Ferrini v Italy, now before the International Court of Justice).

I am curious to know if anyone can explain (or speculate on, given the absence of a written judgment at this time) the seemingly different treatment of the two CIA station chiefs: the one in Rome was awarded diplomatic immunity, while the one in Milan was not.