A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent has thanked United States President Donald Trump for intervening in getting her released hours before her planned extradition to Italy. Sabrina de Sousa told The Associated Press on March 2 that U.S. officials were in contact with authorities in both Portugal and Italy ahead of her release.
De Sousa, convicted in the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric in Milan 14 years ago, walked free on March 1, a day after Italy dropped its extradition request. De Sousa was arrested on a European warrant at Lisbon Airport in October 2015 while en route to India to visit her mother. She repeatedly fought her extradition and complained that former President Barack Obama’s administration had abandoned her.
She lost several appeals after her arrest. But on Tuesday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella granted her partial clemency, shaving one year off her four-year sentence. She could now serve community service instead of prison time, possibly in Portugal or Italy.
After her release, de Sousa took to her Twitter handle to thank Donald Trump. She tweeted: “THANKYOU!! Your admin did more on my case in the last 30 days than was done in prior 8 years!”
De Sousa was one of 26 Americans tried and convicted in absentia for the cleric’s kidnapping. Full or partial clemency has been granted in just four of the cases.