Saturday, December 10, 2005

Poland named as main base for secret CIA terror interrogations News - International - Poland named as main base for secret CIA terror interrogations

POLAND is the CIA's main centre for detaining terrorist suspects in Europe at clandestine prisons, a leading human rights investigator has claimed.

Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst with Human Rights Watch, said his organisation had documents proving Poland was 'the main base' for interrogating prisoners and showing Romania was a transit point for moving terror suspects.

Poland's leaders continue vigorously to deny any involvement in alleged secret CIA prisons.

But Mr Garlasco claimed: 'Poland was the main base of interrogating prisoners and Romania was more of a hub.

'This is what our sources from within the CIA tell us and what is shown from the documents we gathered.'

Mr Garlasco said an 'operation on such a scale could not have happened without the knowledge of the Polish authorities. There are people who took part in it, there are flight records.'

He said about 25 important terror suspects were interrogated in Poland near a former military airport in Szymany, in the north, and in a much larger facility in the south.

Meanwhile, there was confusion over whether Scottish police were investigating claims by Green MSP Mark Ruskell that CIA 'torture flights' landed secretly at an RAF base en route to other countries. Fife Constabulary Chief Constable Peter Wilson wrote to Mr Ruskell informing him that 'inquiries' would be made into the claims. A force spokesman yesterday said an investigation was underway.

But Mr Wilson, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, later told The Scotsman that no formal inquiry would be held into claims that RAF Leuchars, or any other Scottish airport, had been used for the so-called 'extraordinary rendition' flights, as there was no evidence any crime had taken place or was being planned.

Several Scottish airports, including Prestwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, are already known to have been used by at least 176 secret flights carrying Islamic militants abroad for interrogation that would be illegal in America.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd has agreed to meet the head of a leading human rights group to discuss a possible probe into claims the 'torture flights' have landed on airports throughout the UK."

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