WASHINGTON – A judge on Thursday threw out a former State Department official's lawsuit demanding diplomatic immunity against charges she helped kidnap a terrorism suspect in Italy but said the U.S. government's handling of the case sends a "potentially demoralizing" message to American civilians serving overseas.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said the facts of the case brought by Sabrina De Sousa were troubling, but she's bound by the law to dismiss the lawsuit.
De Sousa was one of 26 U.S. officials tried in absentia in 2009 for the alleged kidnapping of Muslim cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. It was the first trial in any country stemming from the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, which involved moving terrorist suspects from one country to another for interrogation outside the bounds of the criminal justice system.
Italian prosecutors said De
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