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Europe colluded in CIA prisoner "spider's web"

Written by: Staff

PARIS, June 7 (Reuters) More than 20 states, mostly in Europe, colluded in a ''global spider's web'' of secret CIA prisons and transfers of terrorism suspects, a European rights watchdog said in a report released today.

European states were aware of or took part in a network run by the US Central Intelligence Agency that stretched from Central Asia to the Caribbean, via the West Asia and North Africa, the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly said.

''It is now clear -- although we are still far from having established the whole truth -- that authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful activities,'' said investigator Dick Marty.

''Other countries ignored them knowingly, or did not want to know,'' Marty said in the conclusions of the 65-page report released on the body's Web site.

The system was a form of ''legal and judicial apartheid'' that placed non-Americans beyond normal legal norms simply because those seized were suspected of terrorism, he told a news conference in the French capital.

Marty admits he has ''no formal evidence'' of secret CIA detention centres but says his report indicates many states had actively or passively taken part in the system of CIA secret flights and secret transfers known as renditions.

Among the charges:- * Poland and Romania ran secret detention centres * Germany, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus and Azerbaijan were ''staging points'' for flights involving the unlawful transfer of detainees * Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Greece and Italy were ''stopovers'' for flights involving the unlawful transfer of detainees * Sweden, Bosnia, Britain, the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Germany and Turkey handed over suspects * Cairo, Amman, Islamabad, Rabat, Kabul, Guantanamo Bay, Tashkent, Algiers and Baghdad served as detainee transfer/drop-off points.


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