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Saturday, March 18, 2006

More 'disclosures' ......

British airports handled 73 CIA flights

Aircraft suspected of being used by the CIA for "extraordinary rendition" - the practice of sending detainees to camps, including Guantánamo Bay, where they were at risk of being tortured - passed through British airports on 73 occasions since 2001, the government disclosed yesterday. They included an aircraft which left the Afghan capital Kabul and landed in Edinburgh in November 2002 before continuing its journey to Washington.

The aircraft, registered N85VM, landed at Guantánamo Bay on a number of occasions in 2002 and 2003, sometimes via the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean, a British overseas territory, according to flight records seen by the Guardian.

Aircraft suspected of being used by the CIA for "extraordinary rendition" - the practice of sending detainees to camps, including Guantánamo Bay, where they were at risk of being tortured - passed through British airports on 73 occasions since 2001, the government disclosed yesterday. They included an aircraft which left the Afghan capital Kabul and landed in Edinburgh in November 2002 before continuing its journey to Washington.

The aircraft, registered N85VM, landed at Guantánamo Bay on a number of occasions in 2002 and 2003, sometimes via the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean, a British overseas territory, according to flight records seen by the Guardian.

New details of aircraft known to be used by the CIA were disclosed by Alistair Darling, the transport secretary, in answer to a parliamentary question from Michael Moore, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman. Some of the aircrafts landed here on their way to the Middle East.

Mr Darling said none of the information held by his officials "provides evidence that these flights were involved in rendition". He said that Britain had made clear to the US, "including in recent months", that the government expected it to seek permission before rendering detainees via British territory and airspace.

Mr Moore said last night that the disclosures raised serious questions about the number and purpose of CIA flights through the UK. He added: "A fundamental question remains unanswered: has the UK government actually asked the US how many individuals have been rendered through Britain? If this hasn't been asked, then why on earth not?"

Why indeed .......

posted by summersun70 at 1:00 PM

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