A COUNCIL of Europe (CE) report suggests that Slovak authorities have not said clearly whether foreign intelligence services used Slovakia to transport prisoners by air.
Council of Europe General Secretary Terry Davies asked the 46 CE members at the end of last year to respond to three groups of questions regarding suspicions that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was running illegal detention centres in Europe, and illegally transporting and torturing prisoners there.
Dick Marty, a Swiss senator and chairman of the Council's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, launched the investigation after the Washington Post reported in November that CIA personnel had interrogated key Al Kaida suspects in clandestine prisons in Eastern Europe and had transported some suspected terrorists to detention centres in eight countries, including some Eastern European democracies.
Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan said that no prisoners from Iraq or Afghanistan had been tortured in Slovakia, and that if such information had surfaced, the Slovak authorities would have acted promptly.
Following consultations with the Justice Ministry and the Interior Ministry, Kukan said he was certain that no illegal prisoners were being held in Slovakia.
Slovak Foreign Ministry spokesman Juraj Tomaga told the SITA news agency that the Slovak answers left no room for doubt, and that he does not understand why the CE finds Bratislava's answers insufficient.
Last month the ministry restated that CIA planes had not landed in Slovakia or used Slovak air space.
Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Mar 2006 at 10:00