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Terror rendition prisons 'did exist'

By Jonathan Miller

Updated on 07 June 2007

Secret prisons run by the CIA did exist in Europe to facilitate the worldwide kidnap and torture of terror suspects according to an official investigation.

Dick Marty, the author of a report for the Council of Europe, told Channel 4's Dispatches programme - 'we can now confirm that there were secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.'

The governments of both countries have vigorously denied any involvement.

But investigators found that the facilities were run by CIA operatives reporting directly to the offices of the country's presidents.

'We can now confirm that there were secret CIA prisons in Poland and there were secret CIA prisons in Romania'
Dick Marty

Suspicions 'right all along'

Remember all those stories about little white planes rendering kidnapped American terror suspects to secret gulags in eastern Europe?

Well, they weren't conspiracy theories, it turns out. Last June, the Council of Europe's investigator expressed his suspicions; now he calls it "established fact."

Dick Marty said: "We can now confirm that there were secret CIA prisons in Poland and there were secret CIA prisons in Romania."

Dick Marty's report, says his suspicions were right all along.

Employing what he calls his own intelligence methods, and drawing on multiple sources, he concludes that secret CIA detention facilities have actually existed for several years in Poland and Romania.

The CIA, it says, was able to fly prisoners to these ghost prisons thanks to an agreement signed by all NATO members, including Britain, granting "blanket over flight clearances" to US forces involved in the War on Terror."

The report says that using fictitious flight plans that gave no indication of what the destination would be, the CIA's highest value detainees were flown to Szymany airport in north-eastern Poland.

The jail itself is a nearby former Soviet-era military compound. The Marty report providing the first concrete evidence of the secret prison's existence.

Dick Marty said: "The Polish prison was focused on those considered the most important terrorists, the ring leaders of the movement. We think there were about a dozen people."

Among them, they report says, Khaled Sheikh Mohamed, the man who conceived 9/11 and Ramzi Binalshibh, a member of the 9/11 Hamburg cell.

These, the names of 39 other "ghost detainees" -- whom Amnesty International claims have vanished into the CIA gulag.

Rendered from countries including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan, they include children as young as seven; six human rights groups today filed a lawsuit seeking information on their whereabouts.

The Marty report states that the CIA employed "enhanced methods" of interrogation.

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