European countries 'knew of' CIA detentions

30th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2006, Washington (dpa) - At least 10 European countries, including Britain, Germany and Poland, aided or knew about the CIA's secret detentions of terrorism suspects, the European Parliament's chief investigator said Wednesday. At least 1,245 CIA-operated flights flew over European airspace or stopped over at airports in Europe, Italian socialist Claudio Fava concluded in his panel's final report. The report rejected European governments' denials of involvement in so-called extraordinary rendit

30 November 2006

Washington (dpa) - At least 10 European countries, including Britain, Germany and Poland, aided or knew about the CIA's secret detentions of terrorism suspects, the European Parliament's chief investigator said Wednesday.

At least 1,245 CIA-operated flights flew over European airspace or stopped over at airports in Europe, Italian socialist Claudio Fava concluded in his panel's final report.

The report rejected European governments' denials of involvement in so-called extraordinary renditions of terrorism suspects, which would be illegal under European Union law.

Fava said there was "active and passive collusion of various governments and European secret services" in a system of what the report describes as abductions and torture.

Poland came in for some of the strongest criticism for its reluctance to cooperate with the probe. Poland and Romania were cited as likely hosts of "black sites" where CIA interrogations were carried out.

"We assumed that we wouldn't be able to find the smoking gun," Fava told reporters. "There is no proof, but there are many clues that all point to the possibility that there was a temporary detention centre in Poland."

EU members Italy, Britain, Germany and Sweden either helped turn over suspects to the CIA programme or knew about their capture, and there are allegations that Austria may have aided in one case, said the report obtained by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Britain, Italy, Germany as well as EU members Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus and Poland hosted hundreds of CIA flights, the report said. The largest number transited through Germany (336), followed by Britain (170) and Ireland (147).

US President George W Bush admitted on September 6 that the CIA had set up secret sites for holding and interrogating top al-Qaeda suspects captured since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

At the same time, he said 14 of the top suspects held abroad were being moved to US military detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But Bush did not give in to European calls to make the location of the camps public. EU lawmakers have also pressed national governments to come clean about the extent of their involvement.

Even though some of the CIA captives may be proven terrorists, that does not justify abductions and torture, Fava said.

"I know that not all of them are innocent, but this is a completely illegal system," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

Click here for more German news

0 Comments To This Article