Air crews called as witnesses in alleged Guantánamo flight probe

4th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

A High Court prosecutor is planning to subpoena Spanish flight crews, air traffic controllers and the civil and military authorities in charge of three airbases.

4 February 2008

MADRID - A High Court prosecutor is planning to subpoena Spanish flight crews, air traffic controllers and the civil and military authorities in charge of three airbases in an effort to determine whether or not illegal prisoner transport flights operated by the US military passed through Spain between early 2002 and the end of 2006.

Public prosecutor Vicente González Mota has asked High Court Judge Ismael Moreno for permission to request testimony from the suspected witnesses to the so-called rendition flights, which apparently landed in Spain en route to the US prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The flights are considered illegal under Spanish law, although suspicions linger over whether the former Popular Party government that was in power until 2004 or the current Socialist administration knew about them.

González Mota is centring his investigation primarily on two flights that according to Portuguese air traffic control records left the NATO bases at Morón de la Frontera, near Seville, and Rota, near Cádiz, bound for Cuba in January and October 2002. The planes allegedly had Islamist suspects caught in Afghanistan onboard who had been transferred from other aircraft. González Mota is looking for testimony from anyone who may have seen them.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / JOSÉ MARÍA IRUJO 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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