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23 Americans Convicted|in Cleric’s Kidnapping

(CN) - A judge in Italy convicted 26 Americans on Wednesday of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in 2003. Judge Oscar Magi also acquitted three Americans because they had diplomatic immunity when the group abducted clerk Abu Omar in Milan and took him to Egypt, where he was tortured for months, The New York Times reported.

Magi tossed charges against a former CIA station chief in Italy and a deputy chief, because they had sovereign immunity.

Robert Lady, the former CIA chief in Milan, got eight years in prison. The other U.S. operatives were given five-year sentences. Three Italian accomplices got three-year terms.

Officials spent six years building their case, and continued despite delays, legal battles and attempts by the Italian government to shut down the trial, the Times reported.

The Americans were tried in absentia.

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