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European Parliament Panel Approves CIA Report Findings

A special committee of the European Parliament has approved a report saying some European countries were aware of secret CIA flights over Europe, as well as the existence of secret detention centers for kidnapped terror suspects.

The approval came Tuesday, after a year-long EU probe of CIA activities in Europe. The report accuses key European Union officials of attempts to withhold information about a U.S.-run secret detention program acknowledged by President Bush last year.

Critics, including the European People's party, the parliament's largest grouping, are disputing the credibility of the report, calling it biased and inaccurate. Italian lawmaker Jas Gawronski said there is "precious little irrefutable proof" of wrongdoing by EU member-countries.

The probe, begun in 2005, was triggered by an allegation from a detainee who said he was held and tortured at a secret prison in Poland.

However, in an amendment pushed through by center-right lawmakers, the report says evidence does not prove that secret CIA prisons were based in Poland.

The entire European Parliament will vote on the report next month.

President Bush last year acknowledged that terrorism suspects have been held in CIA-run prisons, but he has not offered details.

The committee said it based its findings on secret documents and confidential sources, including records of meetings between European, NATO and senior U.S. State Department officials. It also drew on testimony from detainees.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.