By Georg Mascolo and Matthias Gebauer Spiegel Online 1/10/07

A Milan prosecutor is making the CIA nervous. Despite the opposition of his own government he wants to indict 26 US agents and five Italian secret agents for the kidnapping of a terror suspect. Rome and Washington would prefer that the embarrassing trial would just go away.

The proceedings in Milan’s historic Palace of Justice on Tuesday morning were kept under tight wraps. Judge Caterina Interlandi was holding court on the seventh floor, behind closed doors — and only lawyers directly involved with the case were allowed to enter. The governments in Rome and Washington would have preferred if the hearing had not taken place at all.

However they had not reckoned with Armando Spataro. Without the lively Milan prosecutor, who is balding and has a moustache, things would never have got quite so far.

The case being heard behind the court’s doors could turn out to be highly unpleasant for Washington and Rome. Judge Interlandi must determine whether 26 CIA agents and five Italian secret service agents are to be indicted for one of the boldest kidnappings of a terror suspect to happen yet. If the court takes the case, it would be the first time anyone has been tried in connection with the CIA’s controversial “extraordinary renditions” program. Under the secret renditions program, suspected terrorists were kidnapped and interrogated at secret “black” sites.

Full article: Spiegel Online