German national who says he was kidnapped by CIA to Afghanistan to testify in European Parliament

A German national who says CIA agents abducted him and transported him to Afghanistan was to testify Monday to a European Parliament committee investigating claims of U.S. secret prisons and flights in Europe.

Khalid al-Masri, who is suing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for alleged wrongful imprisonment and torture, was to address lawmakers Monday.

Al-Masri alleges that U.S. agents captured him on Dec. 31, 2003 in Macedonia, and took him to Afghanistan, where he was allegedly abused before being flown back to Europe and released in Albania in May 2004.

The committee is investigating allegations that U.S. agents interrogated terrorism suspects at secret prisons in eastern Europe and transported some on secret flights that passed through Europe. It is expected to publish an interim report on its findings next month.

Earlier this month, the committee heard testimony from Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro, who has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan, and Nicolo Pollari, director of Italy's SISMI intelligence agency.

The committee said it would also contact senior CIA and White House officials and ask them to testify on the secret prisons and flights reports.

The allegations were first reported in 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. Clandestine detention centers and secret flights to countries where suspects could face torture would violate European human rights treaties, reports the AP.

D.M.