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Ex-CIA Agent Detained In Panama Reportedly Returing To U.S.

The Washington Post reports that a former CIA operative detained in Panama at the request of Italian authorities was back on a plane to the U.S. Friday.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, Italy, was arrested in Panama on Thursday in connection with an extraordinary rendition dating from 2003.

"It's our understanding that he's on a plane en route to the United States right now," a senior Obama administration official said, according to the Post.

The newspaper said it was not immediately clear what steps the United States had taken to secure Lady's release.

Lady, along with 23 other U.S. government employees, was sentenced in absentia in Italy to nine years in prison for the abduction of Egyptian cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr as part of an extraordinary rendition program run by the administration of President George W. Bush.

According to Reuters:

"Osama Nasr was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation, where he says he was tortured for seven months. The imam, also known as Abu Omar, was a resident of Italy at the time of the abduction.

Prosecutors alleged the CIA flew the imam from northern Italy via Germany to Egypt, where he says he was tortured with electric shocks, beatings, rape threats and genital abuse."

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