Macedonian minister 'obstructing' EU CIA probe
23 March 2006, BRUSSELS - Macedonian Interior Minister Ljubomir Mihajlovski has refused to meet members of a European Parliament committee which is probing charges of a CIA abduction in his country, a European Union lawmaker said Thursday.
23 March 2006
BRUSSELS - Macedonian Interior Minister Ljubomir Mihajlovski has refused to meet members of a European Parliament committee which is probing charges of a CIA abduction in his country, a European Union lawmaker said Thursday.
Claudio Fava, rapporteur of the EU parliament committee, said Mihajlovski had rejected demands that he meet a delegation from the assembly which wants to question him.
The parliament, which is planning to send a fact-finding mission to Macedonia at the end of April, made its request following allegations by Lebanese-born German national Khaled al-Masri that he was kidnapped by the CIA in Macedonia and held captive in Afghanistan as a terrorism suspect in 2004.
Fava said Mihajlovski had declined to meet the EU delegation. "I fear that the minister has not been well informed as to the aim of our mission," Fava said, adding: "Our committee does not want to interrogate or to accuse anyone."
Finding out the truth about al-Masri's case and other allegations "is both a political and a moral obligation - for our committee or for any European country," Fava underlined.
MEPs will stick to their decision to investigate in Macedonia, he said, adding that parliamentarians are still hoping "for a high degree of cooperation on the part of the authorities in Skopje."
The parliament's committee investigating the CIA charges was set up in January. It is working in tandem with the Council of Europe inquiry and wants to present its first findings by June. However, the committee has no power to sanction European governments.
Subject: German news