June 7, 2006

14 Euro states colluded with US on prisons – report

By Jon Boyle

PARIS (Reuters) - Fourteen European countries colluded in a
"global spider's web" of secret CIA prisons and transfers of
terrorism suspects, a European rights watchdog said in a report
released on Wednesday.

European states played an active or passive role in the
network run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and were
not unwitting victims of the operation, the parliamentary
assembly of the Council of Europe said in the report on its Web

"It is now clear -- although we are still far from having
established the whole truth -- that authorities in several
European countries actively participated with the CIA in these
unlawful activities," Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty

"Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to
know," he said in the conclusions of the 65-page report that he
is due to present at a news conference at 1100 GMT.

The report fingered a number of states for collusion with
CIA secret flights and secret transfers known as renditions.

They include:-

* Poland and Romania on the running of secret detention

* Germany, Turkey, Spain and Cyprus for being "staging
points" for flights involving the unlawful transfer of

* Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Greece and Italy for being
"stopovers" for flights involving the unlawful transfer of

* Sweden, Bosnia, Britain, the former Yugoslav republic of
Macedonia, Germany and Turkey were cited in relation to cases
involving specific individuals

Marty said more cases could yet come to light.


The former Swiss investigating magistrate denied setting
himself up as judge and jury, saying hard evidence was "still
not forthcoming."

However, he said there were "a number of coherent and
converging elements (that) indicated that secret detention
centres have indeed existed and unlawful inter-state transfers
have taken place in Europe."

The Council of Europe, a pan-European body, has struggled
to gain information from its member states and while it can
name and shame countries it cannot launch legal proceedings.

The allegations of CIA abuses, first made by newspapers and
human rights groups late last year, fanned concerns in Europe
about U.S. anti-terror tactics. But European governments are
now under scrutiny due to mounting evidence they at best turned
a blind eye to illegal activities.

Washington insists it acted with the full knowledge of the
governments concerned, acknowledges the secret transfer of some
terrorist suspects between countries and denies any wrongdoing.

EU investigators said last month they believed 30 to 50
people had been handed over by the United States since the
September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.