ROME (CNN) -- The Italian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the 2009 convictions of 23 Americans whom a lower court convicted in absentia of kidnapping a terrorist suspect in Milan in 2003.
It's unlikely the court ruling will have much effect on the lives of any of the Americans. None of them appeared at the original 2009 trial, nor were any of them taken into custody, and the Italian government did not ask for their extradition.
The CIA declined to comment on the ruling Wednesday.
The trial was the first to deal with a practice that human rights groups call "extraordinary rendition." They say the United States has often transferred terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture.
Washington has acknowledged making secret "rendition" transfers of terrorism suspects between countries but denies using torture or handing suspects over to countries that do.
The case centered on the alleged extraordinary rendition of a Muslim cleric, Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, or Abu Omar, who said he was seized on the streets of Milan in 2003 and then transferred to Egypt and tortured.
Abu Omar was suspected of recruiting men to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and was under heavy surveillance by Italy's intelligence agency.
Prosecutors said he was nabbed by a CIA team working with Italian intelligence officials.
In the 2009 trial, the Italian court sentenced 22 of the Americans to five years in prison each for their role in the abduction. Prosecutor Armando Spataro said Robert Seldon Lady, who prosecutors say was the CIA station chief in Milan, was sentenced to eight years.
Each of the 23 Americans was ordered to pay 1 million euros (about $1.3 million) to Abu Omar, plus 500,000 euros to his wife.