The lawyers for a former Italian chief of intelligence want to call US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a witness in the trial of 26 Americans charged in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric. Defense lawyer Nicola Madia, who said that Rice’s testimony is significant, considering that she was in charge of the CIA’s rendition program, filed the request. Italian judge Oscar Magi is expected to make a decision on the request in October.
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On Wednesday, a court in Milan resumed the CIA-gate trial of 26 citizens accused in the February 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian imam in the city. Judge Oscar Magi suspended the trial last June to allow the Constitutional Court to deliberate over whether or not Milan investigators violated state secrecy laws by wiretapping military intelligence agents. Osama Mustafa Hassan, an imam better known as Abu Omar, was grabbed off a Milan street in 2003 in an operation coordinated by Italian military intelligence and the CIA. His seizure is thought to be among the many secret abductions since the September 2001 attacks in the United States. The trial involved 33 defendants, including a US air force colonel and 25 CIA agents.