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Ex-CIA Chief Robert Seldon Lady Arrested In Panama: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at the lobby of the CIA headquarters (Getty Images)

The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at the lobby of the CIA headquarters (Getty Images)

Ex-CIA Milan Station Chief, Robert Seldon Lady, has been arrested in Panama, near the Costa Rica border. The ex-chief is wanted in relation to CIA activities that went down in Italy, reports The Associated Press.

Here’s what you need to know…

1. Convicted In Absentia In Italy

An Italian flag flies in St Peter's Square (Getty Images)

An Italian flag flies in St Peter’s Square (Getty Images)

Lady was convicted in Absentia, along with 22 others, in an Italian court for their role in a CIA “extraordinary rendition” operation. He has been ordered to nine years in prison.

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2. It’s the First Time a US Agent Has Been Prosecuted Because of Extraordinary Rendition Operations

Former President Bill Clinton moderates a panel discussion  (Getty Images)

Former President Bill Clinton moderates a panel discussion (Getty Images)

The conviction of Lady and his associates has brought the first-ever conviction against agents involved in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. The US has increasingly used the program as a tool in the “war on terror.” This arguably illegal technique circumvents regular extradition practices usually processed through international dialogue between states. The program was signed by US President Bill Clinton in 1995.


3. Panamanian National Police Have No Information On The Arrest

U.S. President Barack Obama talks to Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama talks to Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (Getty Images)

The Panamanian National Police, who work closely with Interpol, have claimed that they have no information on Lady’s arrest. Italian authorities have sought for the international arrest of Lady, but today announced his capture.


4. The Cleric Lady Captured Was Allegedly Tortured

U.S. military personnel stand at fenced recreation areas inside the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants.' (Getty Images)

U.S. military personnel stand at fenced recreation areas inside the U.S. military prison for ‘enemy combatants.’ (Getty Images)

A big reason the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program is controversial is because it is believed that most of the people who are taken are sent away to be tortured by American assets around the world. Lady’s kidnapping victim, an Egyptian cleric named Abu Omar, was allegedly flown to Egypt and tortured. He was later released.


5. Lady Could Face Six Years in Prison

Italy's new minister of justice, Paola Severino.  (Getty Images)

Italy’s new minister of justice, Paola Severino. (Getty Images)

Interestingly enough, Lady will only have to face 6 of his 9 year sentence in an Italian prison. This is because of a 2006 amnesty ruling that shaves three years off all sentenced made by Italian courts in extradition cases.

When asked if Italy was actively seeking extradition, Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri was not available to comment.

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