International Scofflaw Headed Back to US

“Former CIA Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady, who was convicted in Italy of kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric and detained in Panama this week, was headed back to the United States, a State Department spokeswoman said on Friday.”

Too bad.  For 12 hours or so there was Roman candle of hope that the convicted kidnapper would be sent back to Italy.  Not so.

Lady was quoted by Il Giornale newspaper in 2009 as saying: “I’m not guilty. I’m only responsible for carrying out orders that I received from my superiors.” [Again, this cowardly excuse…]

Also in that interview, he lamented that he had wanted to stay in Italy but his retirement villa with vineyards had been seized to cover court costs.

“I love Italy. I had decided to live my life in Italy,” the retired spy told the newspaper. “Instead I had to escape.”

Lady was bounced around between two Central American countries this week. He attempted to leave Panama for Costa Rica at around 9:30 a.m. local time on Thursday, Costa Rican immigration department spokeswoman Andrea Quezada said.

He arrived alone at a Costa Rican border checkpoint near the southwestern town of Paso Canoas but was sent back to Panama when a red alert, indicating an Interpol arrest warrant, appeared in the checkpoint’s database, she said.

Costa Rica does not treat red alerts as grounds for immediate arrest whereas Panama does, an Interpol official in Costa Rica said. As a result, Lady was denied entry to Costa Rica.

Due to confusion over the spelling of the ex-CIA official’s name, Panamanian officials did not initially detect him in their database and only discovered their error after Interpol discussions between the two countries, the official added.

After that he was detained in Panama.


As for what Abu Omar suffered as the result of the CIA orchestrated kidnapping. this is what he told Human Rights Watch in 2007

“You cannot imagine … I was hung up like a slaughtered sheep and given electric shocks,” he said. “I was brutally tortured and could hear the screams of others who were tortured too.”