Sabrina De Sousa, 61, was among 26Americans convicted of kidnapping suspect cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nas, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003. She denied involvement in the abduction.
The U.S. rendition program, under which terror suspects were kidnapped and transferred to centers where they were interrogated and tortured, was part of the anti-terrorism strategy of the Bush administration following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Former President Barack Obama ended the program years later.
De Sousa spent the night in a women's prison near Lisbon Monday after a Portuguese court ordered police to extradite her, her Portuguese lawyer, Manuel Magalhaes e Silva, said in an interview. He said she was detained after a two-year fight against extradition and would be put on a plane once formalities between Portuguese and Italian police were finished.
De Sousa lost several appeals against extradition since her arrest at Lisbon Airport in October 2015 on a European warrant. She had argued she was never officially informed of the Italian court conviction and couldn't use confidential U.S. government information to defend herself.
Once in Italy, De Sousa is expected to be taken to a women's prison in Milan, but her Italian lawyer Dario Bolognesi said he would immediately appeal to the Milan court to defer her imprisonment pending a decision on her years-long request for clemency. Other Americans convicted in the case have received clemency from the Italian President.
The U.S. government has expressed concern over De Sousa's treatment.