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European Parliament could call top US officials to testify in rendition probe

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] As part of its probe into allegations [JURIST report] that the CIA ran secret prisons [JURIST news archive] in EU member countries, a committee of the European Parliament [official website] Monday outlined an investigation plan and reviewed a list of people it might want to question. Possible witnesses include senior members of the US administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile], Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile], former Secretary of State Colin Powell [Wikipedia profile], and CIA head Porter Goss [official profile], although senior committee member Claudio Fava [official profile] acknowledged "...we need to check first and foremost who in the US administration would be ready to cooperate."

Human Rights Watch [HRW backgrounder] and Amnesty International [AI report] have both accused the US government of running secret detention centers in Europe and of transporting suspects to these prisons on rendition flights [JURIST news archive]. The US government has defended its actions as legal [JURIST report]. The Council of Europe, the European human rights monitoring body, has been conducting a separate investigation [JURIST report] of the rendition allegations; the chairman of its probe, Swiss senator Dick Marty, will meet with the European Parliament's committee February 23. Reuters has more.

Tatyana Margolin is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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