Sabrina De Sousa is facing extradition to Italy in May. Photograph: Nikki Kahn/AP
Sabrina De Sousa is facing extradition to Italy in May. Photograph: Nikki Kahn/AP

LISBON, Portugal (Diya TV) — A former undercover CIA agent is facing extradition from Portugal to Italy for her conviction in a 2003 extraordinary rendition of a terror suspect to Egypt, officials said this week.

Sabrina De Sousa, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Portugal, was arrested in Portugal last October and has since lost three appeals against her extradition to Italy, which is currently scheduled for May 4.

She had an alleged role in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known simply as Abu Omar, after he was snatched off a Milan street by the CIA. The agency was allegedly assisting Italian officials, and sent Omar to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured.

The case was investigated by an independent Italian prosecutor, and resulted in De Sousa’s conviction as well as 21 other CIA operatives and high-ranking officials. At the time, the case was only observed as an investigation of illegal counter-terrorism practices, and to expose allies of the U.S.’ alleged role in facilitating the acts.

Convictions of members of the Italian military intelligence agency were later overturned by a high court, citing the grounds of “state secrecy.”

De Sousa has said she is willing to meet with Italian authorities and has previously said she is “encouraged” that her case might get a second look from Italy’s president, who has the ability to pardon her.

“I am very encouraged by recent developments,” she said in a phone interview with The Guardian. “I will voluntarily meet with Italian authorities to provide further sensitive information, because before we were not allowed to defend ourselves and now I am going to do that if it is required.”

During her tenure in Italy, De Sousa was registered as a Department of State officer with the U.S. consulate in Milan, which extends to her the privilege of diplomatic immunity. However, she was technically an undercover agent of the CIA. She has incessantly said her role was only minor, and was not specifically involved in the kidnapping of Omar. De Sousa believes her diplomatic immunity should shield her from any prosecution, even though she is no longer employed by the CIA.

She claims senior officials allowed lower-ranking employees to serve as scapegoats in the matter, instead of accepted responsibility for their roles in the still-classified mission.

De Sousa’s arrest was a direct result of her decision to travel from the U.S. to Portugal late last year to visit her family. Italy has never sought to extradite De Sousa from the states, however, she had an outstanding European arrest warrant and was detained while trying to leave Portugal on a flight to India.