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April 19, 2014

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Convictions of 5 Italians thrown out in CIA case

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 | 11:02 a.m.

ROME (AP) — Italy's top criminal court has thrown out the convictions of five Italian agents regarding the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric as a terror suspect 11 years ago as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

Italian news reports said that in dismissing the 2013 appeals court convictions, the Cassation Court ruled Monday the five should not have been prosecuted because the case involved classified information. They were originally acquitted by a lower court in the 2003 abduction of the cleric in Milan.

Court officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The ruling could impact separate Cassation Court proceedings involving three Americans, including a former CIA Rome station chief, who were convicted in absentia by a Milan appeals court regarding the abduction.

The Americans' hearing is set for March 11.