Former CIA official seeks pardon in kidnapping case

A former CIA base chief has asked Italy’s president for a pardon of his conviction in absentia of kidnapping a terror suspect as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. He apologized for the strain the case has put on U.S.-Italy relations and cited Italy’s pardon of another American convicted in the case.

“I never intended to disrespect Italy’s sovereignty — quite to the contrary,” Robert Seldon Lady, a former U.S. consular officer based in Milan, wrote in the four-page letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

President Giorgio Napolitano’s office confirmed receipt of the letter, and said the request had been forwarded to the office for justice affairs.

Lady, 59, was sentenced to nine years for the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric suspected of recruiting terrorists in Milan, and was briefly held this summer in Panama based on an international arrest warrant issued before being allowed to return to the U.S.


Alabaman-turned-terrorist ambushed, killed by rivals

An American who became one of Somalia’s most visible Islamic rebels and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list with a $5 million bounty on his head was killed Thursday by rivals in the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab, militants said.

The killing of Omar Hammami, an Alabama native known for his rap-filled propaganda videos, may discourage other would-be jihadis from the U.S. and elsewhere from traveling to Somalia, terrorism experts said.

Hammami, whose nom de guerre was Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or “the American,” was killed in an ambush in southern Somalia following months on the run after falling out with al-Shabab’s top leader, the militants said. Before the falling out, Hammami made frequent appearances in combat videos, and in 2011 he released two rap songs, “Send Me a Cruise (missile)” and “Make Jihad With Me.”

Hammami, an Arabic speaker, moved from Alabama to Somalia and joined al-Shabab in about 2006.


Britain to allow ‘limited’ broadcasting of trials

U.S.-style televised justice is gaining traction in Britain.

Britain’s Ministry of Justice says a proposal to allow cameras to broadcast cases from England’s Court of Appeal has been approved by lawmakers in Britain’s lower house.

British Courts Minister Helen Grant said in a statement Thursday that “justice must be seen to be done, that is why we are introducing limited television broadcasting in courts from next month.”

Proceedings in Britain’s Supreme Court have been carried live online since 2011. Last year filmmakers won rare access to Scotland’s High Court.

— From news service reports