Saturday, June 09, 2007

Poland denies existence of CIA prisons

Following the Council of Europe’s claims of ‘proof’ of CIA prisons in Poland between 2003-5, senior politicians deny the claims.

“I know nothing about any CIA prisons in Poland,” said President Lech Kaczynski yesterday.

His predecessor Aleksander Kwasniewski – president of Poland during the time that the CIA prisons were meant to be just outside the Szymany airstrip in northern Poland, said that, “I deny it. I’ve said as much several times.”

Jerzy Szmajdziński, head of the secret services in Poland during the SLD administration, called the claims ‘a fantasy. There were no CIA prisons in Poland.’

The Swiss MP, Dick Marty, who has lead the Council of Europe’s investigation into the claims originally made by Human Rights Watch a year and a half ago, said yesterday in his final report that there was a ‘spider’s web’ of CIA detention centers around Europe and elsewhere.

Marty claims that the detention centers housed victims of ‘extraordinary extradition’ by the CIA. He said that the prisons practiced techniques of interrogation, ‘which were tantamount to torture’.

He has also claimed that the centers were run by the CIA, not indigenous governments, such as in Poland and Romania.

But though they did not run the centers, ‘there must have been some knowledge of their activity at some level,’ claimed Marty.