© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
On the 23rd February 2016, with the Chamber judgment in the case of Nasr and Ghali v. Italy, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
The case concerned an instance of extrajudicial transfer (or “extraordinary rendition”), namely the abduction by CIA agents, with the cooperation of Italian officials, of the Egyptian imam Abu Omar, who had been granted political asylum in Italy, and his subsequent transfer to Egypt, where he was held in secret for several months.
The Court established that the Italian authorities were aware that the applicant had been a victim of an extraordinary rendition operation which had begun with his abduction in Italy and had continued with his transfer abroad. The Court had already held in previous cases that the treatment of “high-value detainees” for the purposes of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” programme was to be considered as torture within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.
In the present case, the Court held that the legitimate principle of “State secrecy” had clearly been applied by the Italian government in order to ensure that those responsible did not have to answer for their actions. In fact, the investigation and trial had not led to the punishment of those responsible, who had therefore ultimately been granted impunity.
The Court held that Italy was to pay 70,000 euros (EUR) to Mr Nasr and EUR 15,000 to Ms Ghali in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 30,000 to the applicants jointly in respect of costs and expenses.