EU Investigation Accuses CIA of 1,000 Illegal Flights

Lisa Bryant

European Parliament investigators say the CIA conducted more than 1,000 undeclared flights over European territory during the past five years. The rendition flights allegedly moved suspected terrorists from the Middle East to other regions. But not all lawmakers are convinced that alleged CIA flights took place.

The latest allegations are part of a first interim report into alleged CIA activities published by a special European Parliament investigative committee.

Italian lawmaker Giovanni Claudio Fava, a committee member who drafted the report, says the apparent CIA flights over European territory violated international law. He said there was evidence that the alleged flights then flew on to countries that have used torture. Fava also charged the CIA with kidnapping and illegally detaining alleged terrorists on the territory of EU member states.

The United States denies illegally transporting terror suspects, and torturing prisoners is against U.S. law.

The EU Parliament is not the only body looking at alleged CIA renditions. Earlier this year, a special investigator for the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe also suggested that alleged CIA renditions to third countries appeared to have taken place - and that, if so, some European countries must have known about them.

The twin investigations follow reports last year that the CIA had run secret rendition flights and prisons in Eastern Europe for al-Qaida suspects.

But neither the European Parliament nor the Council of Europe has produced conclusive evidence that the flights or prisons existed. And some European lawmakers like Charles Tannock have their doubts.

Tannock is a British member of the European Parliament, and is on the special committee investigating the alleged CIA flights.

"I do not think this committee of enquiry will ever come up with anything substantial that is not already in the public domain," he said. "I doubt very much we will find evidence to corroborate that America deliberately took people to be tortured in third countries."

Tannock also criticizes the parliamentary inquiry for acting like a court of law. And he says the report's allegations about the CIA's undeclared flights should not be part of its purview.

"That is something for the member states to take up with the American authorities," he said. "Our agreement here is to investigate whether or not extraordinary renditions have taken place via EU member states or candidates to third countries or other jurisdictions where they are not subject to the same kind of monitoring in terms of being subject to torture."

The European Parliament committee plans to send a delegation this week to Macedonia to continue its inquiry. And a group of lawmakers is expected to fly to Washington next month in hopes of meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and CIA head Porter Goss.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs