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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 00:21 GMT
Egypt releases 'rendition' cleric
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The cleric was detained under Egyptian emergency laws
A Muslim cleric allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy and handed over to the Egyptian authorities has been released, his lawyer has said.

The cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, has said he was tortured while in detention in Egypt.

His lawyer Montasser al-Zayat confirmed that his client had been released and was now back with his family.

The case was said to be an example of rendition, whereby terror suspects are transferred abroad for questioning.

Washington has acknowledged secret transfers of terrorism suspects to third countries but denies torturing suspects or handing them to countries which do torture.

In January, a court in Milan began a hearing to decide whether to indict 25 alleged CIA agents and several Italians accused of involvement in the 2003 kidnapping.


Prosecutors have said the cleric was snatched on a Milan street and flown, via Germany, to his native Egypt where he was interrogated.

The cleric has accused Egyptian agents of using electric shocks, beatings and rape threats against him.

He had been initially charged with membership of an illegal organisation but the charges were later dropped. Mr Nasr was briefly released in 2004 but was later detained without charge under the north African country's emergency laws.

Mr al-Zayat said: "I expected that the justifications for his detention are done with. It's no longer a secret."

Italians held over 'CIA kidnap'
05 Jul 06 |  Europe

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