Number 10 has dismissed an official report into CIA ‘rendition’ flights and detentions in Europe, saying it contains “no new facts”.
European governments almost certainly knew about the secret American practices, according to the study conducted by Swiss MP Dick Marty for the Council of Europe. He concluded that ‘renditions’ in Europe were likely to have involved “more than a hundred persons in recent years”.
His report, however, largely appeared to be a summary of information already in the public domain, including media quotes attributed to unidentified sources. Number 10 said the prime minister had “no view” on the report.
“From what I have heard, it has no new facts therefore there are no new views,” added Tony Blair’s official spokesman..
Marty said that hundreds of CIA-chartered flights “have passed through numerous European countries”.
“It is highly unlikely that European governments, or at least their intelligence services, were unaware,” he argued. And the report said there was “a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of ‘relocation’ or ‘outsourcing’ of torture”.
Marty said the outstanding questions “require plain, honest answers”.
He added that evidence from Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, “appear to be damning for the UK authorities, which seem to have knowingly continued to make use of information obtained under torture and supplied by the Uzbek intelligence services, thereby encouraging the practice of torture”.
But in a sign that claims of secret CIA prison camps, claimed to have been based in Poland and Romania, are not proven, Marty said: “At this stage of the investigations, there is no formal, irrefutable evidence of the existence of secret CIA detention centres in Romania, Poland or any other country.
“Nevertheless, there are many indications from various sources which must be considered reliable, justifying the continuation of the analytical and investigative work.”