Prosecutors have confirmed that police investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA ‘rendition’ flights have asked that the US provide them with an un-redacted version of the Senate’s report on the detention and interrogation program.
A small plane taxis at the airport in Szymany, Poland, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. Lawyers and rights activists believe that this was the airport used to ferry terrorism suspects in and out of Poland when the CIA ran a secret prison in the eastern European country. Former U.S. intelligence officials have said the spy agency operated the site code-named “Quartz” in northern Poland from December 2002 to the fall of 2003. Scottish Police are investigating possible CIA rendition sites in their own country.
CIA aircraft which were used to transfer prisoners to secret sites around the world in order for them to be subjected to torture are known to have stopped over at Scottish airports – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Prestwick and Aberdeen.
In 2013, the Lord Advocate – Scotland’s chief prosecutor – asked Police Scotland to investigate the use of airports by CIA rendition flights. Following the release of a major report on the issue by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) last year, he also instructed them to request an unredacted copy of the document as part of their investigation. This could provide significant new evidence to the police, as the version of the report made public by the SSCI in December 2014 was heavily-redacted, and amounted to only around one tenth of the full document.
In a letter to human rights organisation Reprieve received earlier this month, the Lord Advocate’s department confirmed for the first time that the request for the un-redacted document has now been made to the US – although “nothing has been received at this time.”
Reprieve – which represents a number of victims of the CIA’s rendition and torture programme – is calling for the Scottish and UK Governments to give their support to the police’s request. Reprieve’s Donald Campbell said:
“A full, un-redacted version of the Senate’s report is a crucial piece of evidence for the investigation into the use of Scottish airports by CIA torture flights. It is therefore encouraging that this request has been made. However, with the response not yet clear, it is vital that the US is left in no doubt of how serious Scotland is about getting to the bottom of this. Ministers from both the Scottish and the UK Governments must do everything they can to back up this request, if they are serious about showing that this country does not tolerate torture.”