Italy's high court upholds 23 American convictions in CIA rendition case

Judge Francesco Silocchi , center, looks on during a hearing at the Milan's court, Italy, Wednesday, Dec.15, 2010 of the appeal trial in the CIA-led kidnapping of an Egyptian terrorism suspect from the streets of Milan. AP

(AP) ROME - Italy's highest court has upheld the convictions of 23 Americans in the kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

The ruling on Wednesday marks the final appeal in the first trial anywhere in the world involving the CIA's practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries where torture is permitted.

The 23 Americans all were convicted in absentia and have never been in Italian custody. They risk arrest if they travel to Europe.

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Those convicted include the former Milan CIA station chief, Robert Seldon Lady, who was sentenced to nine years. The other 22 Americans were sentenced to seven-year terms.

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