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Poland’s ‘secret CIA prison’ was illegal, says former deputy

Warsaw — Poland broke its own laws by hosting a secret US jail for terrorist suspects, the former head of an inquiry team said Tuesday, although Warsaw has denied allowing Washington to base a lock-up here.

Former deputy Roman Giertych said he had signalled "justified suspicions of several serious breaches of the law" to Poland’s justice and security authorities when he headed a parliamentary inquiry in 2006.

Giertych said he was speaking out after US President Barack Obama ordered the publication of secret documents from the CIA detailing interrogation techniques used under his predecessor George W. Bush.

Poland’s government has consistently rejected claims by a Council of Europe investigation that it let the Central Intelligence Agency run a secret prison for Al Qaeda suspects on its territory between 2003 and 2005.

Media reports have focused on a Polish military base at Szymany, northeast Poland.

In a report released in June 2007, Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty said the alleged prison was part of a "global spider’s web" of detentions and illegal transfers spun out around the world.

The United States and its allies set them up after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

US media reports, citing anonymous CIA sources, have claimed that Washington chose Poland to interrogate and torture Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks on New York and Washington.