Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Spain to investigate torture flights

Spain has become the second country to investigate stopovers by the infamous "torture plane" in its territory. The investigation was sparked by a report several months ago that the two aircraft used by the CIA for rendition had repeatedly stopped over in Majorca between 2004 and 2005. According to the Guardian, on one such trip the plane was used to kidnap a German citizen, Khaled al-Masri, from Macedonia, and fly him to Afghanistan, where he was

shackled, beaten, injected with drugs and questioned persistently about his alleged links with al-Qaida. He was returned to Albania six months later, apparently after his kidnappers realised they had the wrong man.

Spain claims universal jurisdiction for war crimes and torture, and they have at least the cover identities (and presumably photographs) of 42 suspected CIA operatives who crewed the aircraft (some of whom match the descriptions of agents sought by Italy for the kidnapping of a terrorism suspect from Milan in 2003). I guess none of them will be going anywhere near Europe anytime soon.

Scotland has also begun an investigation into torture flights through Glasgow and Prestwick airports.