ROME -- Italy's former military intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for complicity in the CIA's abduction of an Egyptian Muslim cleric under a program begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The appeals court, in Milan, sentenced the former chief, Niccolo Pollari, to 10 years and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years for their role in the kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from the streets of Milan in 2003. Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.

Twenty-six Americans -- most of them CIA agents -- were convicted in absentia in the case.

Nasr was kidnapped in 2003 under the practice of "extraordinary rendition," in which people suspected of being Islamic militants were abducted in one country and transferred to another, often one where torture was common.

While Nasr was initially charged with membership in an illegal organization, the charges were ultimately dropped. He has since been released.