'Rendition' cleric says he was tortured in Egypt

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February 23, 2007 04:45




An Egyptian cleric, speaking publicly for the first time, said that Egyptian officials tortured him in prison after he was kidnapped in Italy - allegedly by CIA agents - and sent here for interrogation. The claims by Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr sharpened the controversy over the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, just days after Italy indicted 26 Americans and five Italian agents accused of seizing him. The case is the first criminal trial connected to the rendition policy, in which US agents secretly transferred terror suspects for interrogation to third countries where critics say they faced torture. Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, showed up unexpectedly Thursday at the trial of an Egyptian blogger in this Mediterranean coastal city - his first public appearance since he was released Feb. 11 after four years in Egyptian custody.


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