MEPs to hear government minister in CIA probe

13th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2006, BRUSSELS - Seeking to shed new light on the controversial issue of alleged CIA activities in Europe, European lawmakers on Thursday are expected to hear the probe's first government minister. Euro MPs are investigating charges that the CIA ran secret camps on European territory to question terror suspects and whether national governments were complicit. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos is scheduled to report to the special European Parliament's committee on Spain's involve

13 September 2006

BRUSSELS - Seeking to shed new light on the controversial issue of alleged CIA activities in Europe, European lawmakers on Thursday are expected to hear the probe's first government minister.

Euro MPs are investigating charges that the CIA ran secret camps on European territory to question terror suspects and whether national governments were complicit.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos is scheduled to report to the special European Parliament's committee on Spain's involvement. He will be the first EU minister to brief the panel.

Spain's airports are among those said to have been used by the CIA while it was transferring terror suspects to other countries for interrogation.

MEPs are also expected to hear from the lawyer of German-born Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz who was hold five years in the US-run prison camp Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Kurnaz was released on August 24.

Next Tuesday, a delegation of the committee will hold talks with German government officials in Berlin. MEPs have said they also want to travel to London early October.

In addition, Euro MPs will go on fact-finding missions to Romania and Poland in November.

Europe's top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, earlier this year charged that the two countries had hosted clandestine CIA camps. Bucharest and Warsaw, however, deny the allegation.

The 46-member council, which is independent from the EU, is conducting a separate inquiry into the CIA charges.

US President George W Bush last week for the first time said that the CIA was running secret prisons for holding and interrogating high-level al-Qaeda figures that have been captured since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Since media reports revealed the CIA operation last November, Bush and other members of his administration have refused to publicly discuss the programme.

EU lawmakers have called on the US to make the location of the camps public and pressed EU governments to come clean about the extent of their involvement in the issue.

Clandestine detention centres, secret flights via or from Europe to countries where suspects could face torture, or extraordinary renditions would all breach the continent's human-rights conventions.

DPA

Subject: German news

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