Belgium demands answers over CIA prisons

8th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 June 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht has demanded that Poland and Romania answer allegations about secret CIA prisons within their territory.

8 June 2006

BRUSSELS — Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht has demanded that Poland and Romania answer allegations about secret CIA prisons within their territory.

"There are serious indications that strange things occurred. Consequently, complete openness must come," De Gucht said on Tuesday.

The Liberal VLD minister said he will raise the issue at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.

De Gucht was commenting on a Council of Europe report that alleged 14 European countries colluded with the US on secret flights of terror suspects.

Europe's human rights watchdog also accused Poland and Romania of allowing illegal US prisons to be based inside their national boundaries.

Both Poland and Romania have denied the assertions and Washington criticised the report, saying it was full of allegations, but thin on facts. The UK has also rejected the report's claims.

However, Belgian minister De Gucht stressed that Poland and Romania must come clean on any possible wrongdoing, suggesting that a European investigation could be conducted.

"The European Union is a community of values and that has consequences," he said.

The 14 countries named in the Council of Europe report were Bosnia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.

Though Belgium was not listed among the countries accused of colluding with the US, suspicions have been raised in the past about  two flights that passed through Antwerp Airport in 2002.

An advisory panel to the Committee I — which supervises the intelligence service — has also requested more information on possible CIA flights in Belgium.

Two reports previously compiled by the committee were deemed unsatisfactory and the Senate advisory panel is now drawing up new questions for the committee and Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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