Diplomatic Immunity for the Three Americans Acquitted in Italy (Taken Question)

Taken Question
Washington, DC
November 5, 2009

QUESTION: Did the State Department invoke diplomatic immunity for the three Americans acquitted in Italy of the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from Milan? What is the current status of the lawsuit brought against the Department by the woman who sought diplomatic immunity in this case but was not granted that status by State?

ANSWER: The Department has been following the proceedings closely in coordination with the Department of Justice and other agencies.

We have raised our concerns about the case on numerous occasions with Italian officials, and supported the Italian Government’s challenge of the prosecution before the Italian Constitutional Court.

The Department will continue to follow this matter in consultation with the Italian Government.

Immunity defenses were raised before the Italian trial court by the lawyers for the defendants.

For the status of the civil suit brought against the U.S. Government by Ms. De Sousa, I would refer you to the Department of Justice.

PRN: 2009/1102