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Spain probes 'secret CIA flights'

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4439036.stm Spain probes secret CIA flights Spain is launching an investigation into claims that CIA planes carrying terror
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2005
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4439036.stm

      Spain probes 'secret CIA flights'

      Spain is launching an investigation into claims that
      CIA planes carrying terror suspects made secret
      stopovers on Spanish soil.

      Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso made the
      announcement on Spanish television on Tuesday.

      He said that if proven, such activities could damage
      relations between the Spanish and US governments.

      According to Spanish press reports, the CIA is
      suspected of having used Majorca for such prisoner
      transfers.

      "If it were confirmed as true, we would, of course, be
      looking at very serious cases," Mr Alonso told the
      private channel Telecinco.

      The suspect flights - 10 in total - came to light in a
      report submitted by Spain's Civil Guard to the
      prosecutor's office of the Balearics Supreme Court in
      June, Spain's El Pais newspaper reported.

      The first flight allegedly landed in Palma, on the
      island of Majorca, on 22 January 2004.

      The suspect flights - by two Boeing 747s and two
      Gulfstream jets - allegedly continued until 17 January
      2005.

      MEPs concerned

      Meanwhile, members of the European Parliament have
      urged the European Commission to investigate claims
      that the CIA used prisons in eastern Europe for the
      interrogation of terror suspects.

      Spain's Defence Minister Jose Bono reacted cautiously
      to the Majorca allegations on Tuesday, saying "we do
      not have any evidence, we do not have any proof".

      He denied a report that the Spanish secret service had
      asked the CIA to stop using the airport at Palma.

      The flight destinations from Majorca allegedly
      included Libya, Algeria, Romania, Macedonia and
      Sweden, Spanish media reported.

      Spain's relations with the US cooled when Prime
      Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero withdrew Spain's
      contingent of troops from Iraq shortly after taking
      office in March 2004.

      The Popular Party of Jose Maria Aznar, who had backed
      the US-led war in Iraq, was ousted in the election,
      just days after the 11 March train bombings in Madrid,
      which left 191 people dead.
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