Saturday, 9 June 2007

More confirmation of CIA secret prisons

Another development in the story of secret jails run by the American CIA in the "war on terror".


Investigators have confirmed the existence of clandestine CIA prisons in Romania and Poland housing leading members of Al Qaeda, according to a report issued Friday by the Council of Europe, the European human rights monitoring agency.

Dick Marty, the Swiss senator who has been leading the inquiry, said in a recent interview that his conclusions were based on information from intelligence agents on both sides of the Atlantic, including members of the CIA counterterrorism center.

The report says the prisons operated from 2003 to 2005.
But the report contends, "What was previously just a set of allegations is now proven."
Apart from the statements of what his report describes as former and present intelligence agents, Marty quotes aviation records that he suggests provide detailed evidence of clandestine visits by CIA planes to Szymany, Poland. He also quotes the text of confidential military agreements signed between the United States and Romania that, he suggests, allowed the establishment of a CIA base in the country.
The report includes more specific conclusions than a study released in June last year that contended that at least 14 European countries had accepted secret transfers of terrorism suspects by the United States. That report listed a web of global landing points that it said had been used by the American authorities for their air network.

The report found Poland and Romania were sites for the secret prisons, which President Bush has confirmed the existence of last year. There have been conflicting European reports on these "black sites". Often detainees are transported via "extraordinary renditions"; European nations have acted more as terminals — or the origin of the prisoners — than bases for the prisons. Nonetheless, many laws — international and national — have no doubt been broken even with the programs that have been admitted.

The CIA denies this latest report, as do the Polish and Romanian governments.

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