US prison in Germany 'held terror suspects'

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2006, KARLSRUHE, GERMANY - Prosecutors confirmed Saturday they are investigating claims the US army illegally held terrorist suspects at a military prison in Germany and possibly abused them. The online edition of the German magazine Stern said a witness had told prosecutors he had heard a US soldier refer to the detentions at the military facility in Mannheim near Frankfurt. Prosecutors admitted interrogating the witness during the course of investigations underway since September 21, but added

9 October 2006

KARLSRUHE, GERMANY - Prosecutors confirmed Saturday they are investigating claims the US army illegally held terrorist suspects at a military prison in Germany and possibly abused them.

The online edition of the German magazine Stern said a witness had told prosecutors he had heard a US soldier refer to the detentions at the military facility in Mannheim near Frankfurt.

Prosecutors admitted interrogating the witness during the course of investigations underway since September 21, but added that a decision on whether to proceed with the case was still pending.

The disclosure comes a day after the British human rights group Reprieve said it had obtained information indicating the US Central Intelligence Agency might have held terrorists at US airbases in Germany and interrogated them there.

German deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg denied the claims, saying no illegal detention centres existed in Germany.

Reprieve said it had gathered its information from the lawyers of men detained at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Stern said three Arabic-speaking men were held at the US military prison in Coleman barracks in Mannheim from April until mid September and were reportedly physically abused.

The US army dismissed the claims and said no terrorists were being held at the Mannheim prison.

US President George W Bush acknowledged last month that the CIA operated secret prisons to hold and interrogate high-level al-Qaeda figures captured since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

But so far, the only European nations suspected of hosting such prisons are Poland and Romania.

The 46-member Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the continent's top human rights watchdog, said in a recent report that several European states had helped the US carry out "extraordinary rendition" flights, the practice of transporting detainees to other states for interrogation.

DPA

Subject: German news

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