It’s been awhile since extraordinary rendition has been in the news, but the Italians have done something that is both unexpected and not surprising. It’s unexpected because it isn’t often that CIA agents are convicted of anything anywhere, and it’s not surprising because they were tried in absentia.
The convictions involve 23 CIA agents who allegedly kidnapped a very influential Italian Imam–Abu Omar–off the streets of Milan, and then sneaked him off somewhere, where he was then allegedly tortured. The Italians have, from time to time, thought of having the agents extradited from the United States, but nothing ever came of that (mainly because the Secretary of State would never authorize the extradition, and it would cause diplomatic friction, so Italian authorities never pursued the matter). In lieu of that, then, the Italians opted to try the agents in absentia and now they have been convicted. (Link) It really doesn’t mean a whole lot from a practical perspective other than that the agents are pretty much barred from going to Europe now.