Austrian politician wants wider CIA probe
Updated: 2005-11-25 09:22
An Austrian opposition politician called on Thursday for a wider
investigation into possible CIA flights over Austria and accused U.S.
intelligence of running a de facto covert airline he derisively dubbed "Kidnap
The lawmaker, Peter Pilz of the Green Party, urged the public prosecutor's
office to get involved, insisting there was probably more than one flight over
"If the U.S. government authorities believe they have the right to kidnap
people and transport them over European borders, that must have consequences in
all member states of the European Union," Pilz told reporters.
On Wednesday, Austria's air force commander said a CIA transport plane
suspected of carrying terrorist suspects flew over the country on its way to the
Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan on Jan. 21, 2003.
Josef Cap, the parliament floor leader for the Social Democrats, the biggest
opposition party, demanded Thursday that Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel lodge a
formal protest with US President Bush. Schuessel is to visit the White House on
The Council of Europe, the continent's main human rights watchdog, is looking
into reports that the CIA set up secret jails in some European nations and
transported terror suspects by covert flights. It has urged governments to fully
provide information on the issue.
Spain's foreign minister said Thursday the government had investigated at
least 10 stopovers by U.S. private planes described in media reports as being
operated for the CIA but had no evidence any laws were broken.
"The government has nothing to hide," Miguel Angel Moratinos told parliament,
but he did not say whether Spanish authorities believed the planes were making
Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, meanwhile, said reports the
CIA used his country's airports to transfer suspects were worth investigating.
But he said during a visit to London that he had no information that "any
unnecessary episodes" had taken place in Poland.
He did not commit himself to establishing a Polish inquiry. "This matter is
being addressed by the European Union, and we trust the European institutions,"
In Bucharest, a top European human rights official urged Romanian lawmakers
Thursday to investigate reports the CIA set up clandestine detention centers in
Rene van der Linden, who heads the Council of Europe's Parliamentary
Assembly, said he hoped all 46 Council of Europe member states would start such
Human Rights Watch named Romania's Kogalniceanu air base as a possible
location for a secret CIA detention center, citing flight logs showing suspected
CIA planes made stops there. The Romanian government vehemently denied the base
was used for such a purpose.