LISBON Portuguese police have detained former CIA agent Sabrina de Sousa and are preparing her extradition to Italy, where she has been convicted in absentia over the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003, her lawyer said on Wednesday.
De Sousa, a dual U.S.-Portuguese citizen, denies involvement in the abduction.
She was one of 26 people convicted in absentia on charges of snatching Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr from a street in Milan in 2003 and taking him to be questioned in Egypt under the controversial U.S. "extraordinary rendition" programme.
"She was detained on Monday night for imminent extradition. The bureaucratic extradition procedures being coordinated between the Portuguese and Italian Interpol offices may take a few days," the lawyer, Manuel de Magalhaes e Silva, wrote in an e-mailed reply to Reuters.
De Sousa, who left the CIA in 2009, was briefly arrested in Portugal in October 2015 at the request of Italian prosecutors, who want her to serve a six-year sentence. Her passports were confiscated, but she was quickly released.
Several of her appeals to Portuguese authorities against the extradition failed over the course of last year.
Some of the people convicted in Italy for being involved in the rendition of the Egyptian cleric have been pardoned.
(Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Dominic Evans)