Swiss investigator is criticized for CIA prisons

A Swiss investigator came under fire from European Union lawmakers for using anonymous sources to identify officials who he said were aware of secret prisons operated by the CIA in Romania and Poland.

Swiss investigator is criticized for CIA prisons
Jan Marinus Wiersma, a Socialist member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands, said, "It's very dangerous to base accusations against persons on anonymous sources."

The criticism was directed at Dick Marty, the Swiss lawmaker, who conducted an 18-month inquiry on behalf of the Council of Europe into allegations that the U.S. intelligence agency interrogated terrorism suspects at secret prisons in some European countries.

In a report published last month, he identified Marek Siwiec, a former Polish ministerial official in charge of military intelligence who is vice president of the European Parliament, and Ioan Mircea Pascu, a member of the EU Parliament and a former defense minister of Romania, as being among a handful of local officials who had direct knowledge of secret CIA operations in Romania and Poland after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Poland and Romania both have denied any involvement. Siwiec and Pascu said Monday that they would take legal action against Marty.

Responding to criticism of his use of anonymous sources from a European Parliament panel, Marty said some of his informants were officials who needed to be protected.

He said some of his sources came from the CIA. Under questioning from lawmakers, Marty said some of those were dissatisfied with the detention policy pursued under Donald Rumsfeld when he was the U.S. secretary of defense.

"There were huge conflicts between the CIA and Rumsfeld," Marty said. "Many leading figures in the CIA did not accept these measures at all."

Marty also accused four high-ranking Poles and five Romanians - including Aleksander Kwasniewski, president of Poland at the time, and Ion Iliescu, then the president of Romania - as being politically accountable for the clandestine jails.

Marty, a former prosecutor, said the use of anonymous sources was the only way to find out what had happened, "given the confidential nature of this information."

In his report, he said its conclusions relied upon "multiple sources which validate and corroborate one another." He added that he or his assistants spoke with "over 30 one-time members (serving, retired or having carried out contract work) of intelligence services in the United States and Europe."

The EU Parliament members criticized Marty for not disclosing a single source while leveling accusations at Siwiec and Pascu, and for not consulting with them before publishing his report.

Véronique De Keyser, a Socialist member from Belgium, said that the members of the EU Parliament felt uneasy about seeing the names of their colleagues in the report without a single source.

Marty's report said that "high value detainees" were held in Poland in breach of European human rights standards. It said lesser detainees, who were still of "remarkable importance," were taken to Romania.

AP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Temmuz 2007, 14:49
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