Italy, Macedonia yet to explain role in alleged CIA flights

Italy, Poland, Macedonia and Bosnia have not provided requested information on what role they may have played in the alleged illegal CIA transfer of terror suspects, a report by Europe's top human right watchdog said Wednesday.

In November, the Council of Europe asked its 46 member states to explain how their laws ensure that acts by officials of foreign agencies within their jurisdiction are controlled.

The council requested the information as part of its inquiry into allegations that U.S. intelligence agents interrogated al-Qaida suspects at clandestine prisons in eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights that passed through Europe.

The allegations were first reported by The Washington Post in early November. The Human Rights Watch group identified Romania and Poland as possible hosts of secret U.S.-run detention facilities, although both countries denied involvement.

The Council said Macedonia has not provided information about its involvement in the case of a Lebanese-born German, who has said he was seized by CIA agents in Macedonia and transported to Afghanistan in a process known as "extraordinary rendition."

Italy has not provided any information on its involvement in the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003. An arrest warrant has been issued by an Italian prosecutor for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the operation in which cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was flown from Italy to Egypt.

Governments were asked if any official had been involved in depriving anyone of their freedom, including where such deprivation of liberty may have been at the instigation of a foreign agency.

The Council said Poland provided "an incomplete reply which cannot be considered as an adequate response or sufficient to put an end to the controversy," reports the AP. 

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