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Judge dismisses lawsuit in Italian kidnapping case

WASHINGTON (AP) – A judge is reluctantly throwing out a former State Department official’s lawsuit demanding diplomatic immunity against charges she helped kidnap a terrorism suspect in Italy.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell says the case sends a “demoralizing” message to American civilians serving overseas. But the judge ruled Thursday that she’s bound by the law to dismiss it.

Italian prosecutors accused Sabrina De Sousa of helping coordinate the 2003 kidnapping of Muslim cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr. She denied prosecutors’ claims she was a CIA officer working under diplomatic cover or was involved in the plot to take Nasr.

She sued the State Department for failing to provide her diplomatic immunity. She was convicted by an Italian court and sentenced to five years imprisonment, although she did not appear at the trial.

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