Europe

Polish PM promises truth on CIA rendition prisoners

  • 29 March 2012
  • From the section Europe
Donald Tusk
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says there will be no more "under-the-table deals"

Poland's prime minister has promised to get to the truth behind claims that his country was involved in secret CIA interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects.

Donald Tusk was reacting to revelations that Poland's former intelligence chief has been charged over the affair.

Poland has always officially denied having any involvement with the interrogations.

Among those thought to have been held in Poland is the man who claims to have masterminded the 9/11 attacks.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003, now faces trial at a US military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay.

In 2006 a report for the Council of Europe accused 14 member states, including the UK and Germany, of colluding in more than 1,000 CIA rendition flights across European territory.

Polish campaigners have published official records of several CIA planes, five of which were known to be carrying passengers, landing in 2002 and 2003 at Szymany, a Polish military base in the north-east.

It is claimed that the secret jail was located nearby in Kiejkuty.

Polish prosecutors launched an investigation into the claims in 2008.

Newspaper reports earlier this week revealed that the former head of Poland's intelligence services, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, has now been charged with setting up secret prisons.

Mr Tusk said that "No-one, whether in Poland or on the other side of the Atlantic, should have a shadow of a doubt that this affair will be resolved.

"Poland will never again be a country where politicians, even if they are working hand-in-hand with the world's most powerful country, can make under-the-table deals," Mr Tusk said.

"We're not living in the 19th Century, or in some bantustan, and those who are in government must act entirely in line with their conscience and the law, both Polish and international," he added.

But he also cautioned those investigating the case should "must rise to the highest standards of concern for state interest" and show the "utmost discretion".

The US has not denied that it flew prisoners across the world, though it insists it never authorised the use of torture.

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