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Madrid deflects blame over CIA flights

brussels bureau

Madrid deflects blame over CIA flights


In an atmosphere strongly critical of U.S. President George W. Bush and EU leaders, at a European Parliament committee investigating allegations that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency ran secret prisons for terrorism suspects in Europe and flew suspects to states where they could be tortured, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has been the first minister to testify. He conceded that Spanish territory “may have been used not to commit crimes as such but as a stopover on the way to commit crime in other territories.” Moratinos said: “The Spanish government is convinced that, based on all the data within its possession, since this government came into office, there has been no violation of Spanish law where the alleged CIA flights are concerned.”

European lawmakers last week demanded their governments reveal the location of CIA prisons after Bush admitted Washington had held terrorist suspects in jails abroad. The head of the parliamentary assembly of Europe’s chief human rights watchdog the Council of Europe said Bush’s statement had vindicated his body’s long investigation, which had, he said, “flushed out the dirty nature of this secret war”. The Council of Europe and the European Parliament had both launched probes.

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