By BARRY HATTON, Associated Press
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A former CIA agent is considering whether to appeal against Portugal’s Supreme Court decision that she should be sent to Italy, where she has to serve a prison sentence for her alleged part in a U.S. program that involved kidnapping terror suspects for interrogation.
Sabrina de Sousa told The Associated Press on Friday she may file an appeal in Portugal’s Constitutional Court. De Sousa said in emailed comments to the AP that an appeal is “possible” but she is “not sure” she will go ahead with it. She said she needs to undergo surgery but did not elaborate.
The rendition program, under which terror suspects were kidnapped and transferred to centers where they were interrogated and tortured, was part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the U.S. administration following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. President Barack Obama ended the program years later.
De Sousa was among 26 Americans convicted for the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, in Milan in 2003. She insists she wasn’t involved in the abduction. She has argued that she was never officially informed of the Italian court conviction and couldn’t use confidential U.S. government information to defend herself.
The Portuguese Supreme Court earlier this week rejected de Sousa’s latest appeal against extradition.
Its ruling, obtained by the AP, came after De Sousa’s Lisbon lawyer Manuel de Magalhaes e Silva lodged an appeal based on a letter from Italian authorities saying De Sousa would not be granted a new trial nor given the right to appeal her conviction when she arrived in Italy. A lower Lisbon court had allowed her extradition to Italy on those conditions.
Since her arrest in the Portuguese capital Lisbon on a European arrest warrant a year ago, De Sousa’s lawyer has filed several appeals against her extradition.
De Sousa, who was born in India and holds both U.S. and Portuguese passports, has said that she had been living in Portugal and intended to settle there. She was on her way to visit her elderly mother in India with a roundtrip ticket when she was detained.
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