[JURIST] German intelligence agents personally witnessed the torture of detainees at a secret US prison in Europe two weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks [JURIST news archive], according to a German intelligence report leaked to Stern magazine. The leaked report asserts the German agents saw US interrogators beat a 70-year-old terror suspect with a rifle butt, requiring the man to receive 20 stitches, and that they viewed documents that were smeared with blood. This information was reportedly turned over to German federal prosecutors. If the leaked report is true, it contradicts the official German position that the German government did not learn of alleged secret US prisons in Europe until media reports surfaced in 2005.
Last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile] denounced CIA secret prisons [JURIST report] as "not compatible with my understanding of the rule of law." President Bush first acknowledged the existence of secret CIA prisons outside the US [JURIST report] for the first time in September 2006. In June, the Council of Europe passed a resolution [JURIST report] condemning alleged collusion between some European governments and the CIA after an investigation and report by Swiss legislator Dick Marty concluded that illegal US detention centers in Europe existed. The Independent has more.