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European Parliament Says Some EU Countries Backed Secret CIA Flights

The European Parliament has approved a report accusing some member countries of permitting and concealing CIA flights carrying terrorism suspects to secret prisons for interrogation.

In the long-awaited report, parliament said the CIA secretly held prisoners in European jails and flew some of them for interrogation to states that practice torture. The report explicitly condemns the practice as "an illegal instrument" used by Washington in the war on terror.

The report follows a year-long probe into CIA activities in Europe. It offers no direct proof that the U.S. intelligence agency ran secret prisons in Europe, as alleged by several prisoners last year. But it accuses some EU governments, including Germany and Italy, of complicity with the clandestine program.

Ahead of the report, investigators had determined that more than 1,200 CIA flights would have flown into or over Europe since the 2001 terror attacks on the United States.

President Bush has acknowledged the secret transfer of terror suspects to third countries. But he denies handing them over to governments that practice torture.

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