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EU delegation to US frustrated by lack of information provided on secret prisons

[JURIST] Members of a European Union [official website] delegation currently in the US to investigate [JURIST report] reports of secret CIA prisons in Europe [JURIST report] for the European Parliament [official website] have complained about non-cooperation by US State Department [official website] officials after a meeting to discuss alleged renditions [JURIST news archive]. Claudio Fava [official profile], who will write the final European Parliament report, said US officials gave a great number of "no comment" responses in the hour-long meeting and started the session by making it clear that the group had no jurisdiction over the US government. While the MEPs have no direct legal authority to compel the US, they can suggest political actions against any European countries involved in the secret prison system.

Earlier this week, the delegates also complained that they were not granted any meetings with Republican members of Congress. The Bush administration has neither confirmed nor denied that the prisons existed. State Department legal adviser John Bellinger [official profile] nonetheless called Thursday's meeting a "respectful" discussion, reiterating that the US will not discuss intelligence gathering practices. Reuters has more.

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