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State Department criticizes Europe probes of CIA secret prisons

[JURIST] US State Department Legal Advisor John Bellinger [official profile] told reporters in Brussels Wednesday that European investigations into allegations of CIA misconduct in Europe may dampen intelligence sharing efforts between the US and European countries. He also said that allegations of torture by the CIA [official website] are unsupported by hard evidence. AP has more.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament approved a report [JURIST report] condemning member states for cooperating with the CIA in operating illegal secret prisons and extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST news archives] in Europe. In June, a Council of Europe (COE) study [PDF text] submitted by Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty [personal website; JURIST news archive] reported that 14 European countries collaborated with the CIA [JURIST report] by taking an active or passive role in a "global spider's web" of secret prisons and rendition flights. On Sunday, Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [JURIST news archive] said he was tortured by the CIA when he was kidnapped [WP timeline] and taken from Milan to Egypt in 2003. Earlier this month an Italian judge indicted 26 American CIA agents [JURIST report] for their alleged role in Nasr's abduction. While Italy is unlikely to press for extradition [JURIST report] in the case, Bellinger indicated Wednesday that the US would refuse any such request [JURIST report].

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