Italy: Bid to hold CIA chief rejected by Panama

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Italy’s justice minister says her country formally asked Panama to hold an ex-CIA base chief convicted of illegally abducting a terrorism suspect, and adds that she “deeply regrets” Panama’s decision to let him return to the U.S.

Annamaria Cancellieri says in a statement that Italy asked Panama to hold Robert Seldon Lady, and the request was “rejected without plausible explanation.”

Panamanian Public Safety Minister Jose Mulino said Friday that Seldon Lady was freed from detention and sent to the U.S. because Italy didn’t formally request his extradition within the allotted 48 hours.

Panamanian Foreign Ministry officials did not respond Saturday to questions about the discrepancy in the version of events.

Seldon Lady faces prison in Italy after being convicted in absentia in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terrorism suspect.

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