CIA prisons in Poland 'illegal'

2011-05-30 18:02

Warsaw - Secret prisons operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Polish territory violated international law and the Polish constitution according to legal experts, reported the daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Monday, citing sources close to an investigation.

The CIA held terror suspects inside a military intelligence training base in Stare Kiejkuty, north-eastern Poland from 2002 to 2005, anonymous Polish intelligence officers have said.

Public prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski had wanted to charge officials from the 2001-2005 Democratic Left Alliance government with violating the constitution, unlawful detention and participation in crimes against humanity, the daily reported.

The left-wing party is today Poland's second largest opposition party. Polish politicians who were in power when the prisons allegedly operated have denied allegations that CIA prisons were located in the country.

Mierzewski, however, was withdrawn from the case two weeks ago, the daily wrote. His supervisor, Dariusz Korneluk, declined to comment on the reason for the dismissal.

Mierzewski had asked international law experts in February to determine whether the CIA prisons were lawful and constitutional, the daily said.

No US assistance

The law experts replied in May in a 50-page report that the prisons were unlawful, according to both international law and the Polish constitution. The US regulations that allow for waterboarding were also against international law, the experts added.

Prosecutors have been investigating allegations about the secret prisons since 2008, but have not released their findings.

According to Wyborcza, Poland and the US agreed that the US would not reply to a Polish request for assistance in the case. This would prolong the investigation until the case could be suspended, the daily reported, citing a source in the prosecutor's office.

Prosecutors representing Saudi national Adb al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, claim the man was tortured at the facility between 2002 to 2003. Al-Nashiri was subjected to waterboarding and mock executions with a power drill while he was naked and hooded, the prosecutors said.

Flight logs obtained from Polish officials in February 2010 confirmed that CIA aircraft landed in Poland during 2003. Human rights groups suspect these were rendition-related flights.

The logs, which were obtained by human rights organisations, showed that CIA-chartered aircraft landed in Szymany, north-eastern Poland, at least six times in 2003.

New York-based Human Rights Watch claimed in a 2005 report that secret CIA prisons in Poland were used to house suspected terrorists from Afghanistan.

  • Jeff - 2011-05-30 18:37

    The recent film 'Essential Killing' is a breathtaking movie about a man abducted from the middle east to the snowy forests of Eastern Europe and who manages to escape. The director originates from close to the alleged CIA airport in northern Poland. Essential viewing.

  • Jakob - 2011-05-31 06:15

    im waiting 4 u girls......

  • Grunk - 2011-05-31 09:33

    If the US govt has freely admitted to waterboarding prisoners in Guantamano then presumably these other centres used even worse methods of torture. A high profile attacker of USS Cole would otherwise assuredly have been incarcerated at Guantamano. As waterboarding is considered torture in all civilised countries except the US where it is considered only to be borderline, then anything worse has to definitely constitute torture. Therefore the US should be immediately charged with crimes against humanity. Oh, I forgot, the US is not a signatory to that treaty for its self-serving purposes. Obviously like her Banks who are too big to fail and its owners/directors too powerful to be charged for inflicting economic mayhem on the world, the US is too big and its forces also too powerful to be considered for normal criminal justice.

      Frans Smith - 2011-05-31 11:10

      if the uss cole belonged to me and this terrorist bastard was involed in the attack, i would have cut his privates off and made him eat it. is attacking people with a bomb not considered a "crime against" humans? it wasn't just the ship that got damaged? that is the problem with some people being to liberal, the one side may do it, but not the other!

      KnysnaSha - 2011-05-31 11:17

      The USA does exactly what it pleases regardless of international law. The biggest bully on the block!

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