The Spanish government has played down reports that the US has been using airports in Spain in a clandestine transfer of terror suspects.
Stung by media allegations that his country and other European airports had unwittingly been used to carry the prisoners to secret locations, the Foreign Minister said he was sure the US had broken no law. But the reports have outraged political opponents who accuse the government of a cover-up.Gaspar Llamazares of the former communist party said: “What’s at stake here are human rights and Spain’s sovereignty for the sake of good relations with the US.” Spain’s Foreign Minister, Miguel-Angel Moratinos, assured parliament that he had US guarantees that Spanish law had not been violated.He said: “The government will, however, strengthen the supervision of any aircraft flying or landing within Spanish territory.” The list of countries thought to have been used by the CIA is growing.The secret transfer of the suspects to alleged covert prisons in Eastern Europe for purposes of interogation has strained relations with Washington. Reports in the US media claim that there are suspicious flights from various US detention centres to numerous countries as part of a so-called “extraordinary rendition” programme. The suspects are said to be taken without court approval to the prisons where questioners are not bound by US law in their methods.The European Commision is to ask the US for clarification on the reports.