08 janvier, 2006
Swiss may have known about secret CIA prisons
by Scott Capper, swissinfo
The Swiss intelligence community has allegedly been aware of secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe for nearly two months, according to leaked documents.
The intelligence services are refusing to comment on the affair, revealed at the weekend by the SonntagsBlick newspaper.
Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty, who is investigating the prison claims for the Council of Europe, played down the significance of the leaked document.
According to the SonntagsBlick, Swiss military intelligence intercepted a fax received by the Egyptian embassy in London supposedly confirming the existence of the detention centres.
The message was picked up by the secret service's Onyx satellite listening system on November 10, just three days after the Council of Europe launched its investigation into allegations that the CIA was running secret interrogation centres in Europe.
The non-governmental organisation Human Rights Watch had claimed shortly beforehand that American intelligence services were interrogating suspected members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network at these centres.
The NGO also claimed that American planes had carried prisoners from Kabul to Polish and Romanian military facilities on at least two occasions.
The Egyptian fax stated that 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens had been transferred to a Romanian military base near the port of Constanza for interrogation purposes. It added that similar detention centres had been set up in Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
The SonntagsBlick's story is based on a document leaked from military intelligence. The complete contents of the report are classified as "secret".
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all rights reserved, swissinfo, Scott Capper
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