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Secret CIA flights stopped in France, newspaper reports

[JURIST] French newspaper Le Figaro [media website, in French] reported Friday that two CIA-chartered flights made secret stops in France in 2002 and 2005 [Le Figaro report], bolstering allegations that the intelligence agency used the flights to transport Islamist terror suspects to secret European prisons for interrogation [JURIST report]. The first stopover was made in 2002 by a Learjet private plane in the town of Brest, and French airport authorities said the flight's crew told them they were alone on the plane. The second flight stopped in Paris in July 2005 by a Gulfstream III jet, which had reportedly landed six times at the US prison base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba [JURIST news archive]. French officials claim they had no knowledge of the secret flights through France and French Defense Ministry [official website, in French] spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau said officials have no evidence of these landings. On Thursday, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that over 300 flights operated by the CIA landed at European airports. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official profile] has written a letter [JURIST report] on behalf of EU nations [JURIST report] to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile], demanding answers on the "ghost flights." Rice has planned a visit to Europe [JURIST report] next week to address the CIA prison allegations. AP has more.

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