CIA flights did not break law: attorney general

23rd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 November 2005, MADRID — Spain's attorney general said no crime was committed by CIA aircraft stopping at Spanish airports, allegedly transporting suspected terrorists.

23 November 2005

MADRID — Spain's attorney general said no crime was committed by CIA aircraft stopping at Spanish airports, allegedly transporting suspected terrorists.

Candido Conde-Pumpido told journalists that because of the absence of "relevant indications of crime" he does not support the taking on of the case by the National Court, which investigates high-profile crimes of terrorism or corruption.

An investigating magistrate in Majorca, one of Spain's Balearic Islands, is currently handling the case.

The government will send its foreign minister before parliament this week to provide information on the alleged use by the US Central Intelligence Agency of Spanish airports in the transport of terrorist suspects.

Miguel Angel Moratinos will appear to answer questions about the reported CIA stopovers.

In comments last Wednesday, interior minister Jose Antonio Alonso said he was willing to appear before parliament if necessary.

But he also called for "prudence," saying time is needed to carry out an investigation of the claims.

"We're going to use prudence and not blow things out of proportion, and allow the institutions to function," Alonso said.

The interior minister's tone was markedly subdued in comparison with the previous day, when he told Spain's Tele 5 television that if the allegations were proven, "we would be dealing with extremely grave acts, acts that are intolerable in any case because they break the rules for treatment of detainees in a democratic system".

A leftist Spanish political party has called on Alonso and the country's top intelligence officer to appear before lawmakers to say whether the CIA surreptitiously used Spanish airports during transport of what the party called "kidnapped" terrorist suspects.

Stops at the Palma de Majorca airport by up to 10 aircraft either belonging to or contracted by the CIA were reported by police earlier this year to the prosecutor's office of the Balearic Islands.

The stops date back to January of last year.

Other such stopovers were reported at an airport in Spain's Canary Islands, off the northwest African coast.

The planes may have been carrying suspected terrorists to detention centres in Eastern Europe reportedly used by the CIA to interrogate individuals accused of terrorist acts.

Last week, US Ambassador to Spain Eduardo Aguirre, when questioned about the flights, said that "at no time was there any violation of Spanish law".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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