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Spanish judge probing CIA renditions orders intelligence documents declassified

[JURIST] A Spanish judge on Wednesday ordered the National Intelligence Center [official website], Spain's state intelligence agency to declassify any documents it has about secret CIA extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST news archive]. The order comes in Judge Ismael Moreno's investigation of whether CIA rendition flights stopped at Spanish airports [JURIST report] before transferring terrorism suspects to countries where they could be tortured. In September 2006, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos [official profile, in Spanish; Euroresidentes profile] acknowledged that CIA planes transporting detainees to secret prisons in Europe may have stopped over [JURIST report] in Spain and Khaled el-Masri [JURIST news archive] became the first witness [JURIST report] to testify in the investigation in October. El Masri, a German national, has alleged that CIA agents kidnapped him in 2003 in Macedonia and transferred him to Afghanistan, where he was held in a secret prison for five months and subjected to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation before eventually being released in Albania in 2004 without charge.

A European Parliament [official website] special committee adopted a report [DOC text] last week alleging that some EU nations knew about CIA activity [JURIST report] in Europe including the existence of secret flights and CIA-operated secret prisons [JURIST news archive]. The European Parliament committee on CIA activities in Europe [official website] concluded that "over one thousand CIA-operated flights used European airspace from 2001 to 2005 and temporary secret detention facilities 'may have been located at US military bases' in Europe" and criticized "the passivity of some Member States in the face of illegal CIA operations." Reuters has more.

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