Decision of the Court of Cassation, V Criminal Section, No. 46340 of 19 September 2012

With regard to the proceedings concerning the abduction of the imam Abu Omar – a case of extraordinary rendition carried out by CIA and SISMI intelligence agents and occurred in Milan in 2003 – the Court of Cassation upheld the sentences of the lower court concerning 23 CIA agents and annulled, with referral, the decision of the Court of Appeal of Milan concerning the dismissal of the proceeding against the SISMI officers by reason of State secrecy. The Court reaffirmed the Italian  jurisdiction over US military forces under the 1951 Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty regarding the Status of their Forces. It did not recognize the consular immunities invoked by two defendants, through the interpretation the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and also considering the extraordinary rendition a violation of the international humanitarian law. As far as the State secrecy is concerned, the Court affirmed that its legal regime aims at protecting the integrity of the State and does not prevent the judiciary from investigating in respect of any conduct which may be qualified as a criminal offence (in this case the kidnapping). The Italian law bans only to obtain or utilize information covered by State secrecy.