A partially signed agreement between Poland’s intelligence service and CIA provides central evidence in the ongoing investigation into alleged ‘black sites’ in Poland.
According to a source at the Krakow Prosecutor’s Office that is handling the investigation, the document was prepared in late 2001, early 2002, in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the US.
The Americans “did not want to leave traces [of evidence]” the source told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, commenting on the fact that the document was only signed by former head of Poland’s Intelligence Agency (ABW), Zbigniew Siemiatkowski.
When queried about the document, Siemiatkowski stated that if his signature is present, it means that the document is classified, and that he is unable to talk about it. He did not confirm the existence of such an agreement.
Meanwhile, Adam Bodnar of the Helsinki Foundation – a human rights body that is monitoring the case – told that the paper that lack of an American signature does not invalidate the document as key evidence.
“The simple fact that the document was prepared attests to the fact that it there was a will [to create the CIA prisons], and that people who were aware of it, also knew about its contents.”
Accusations and denials
In 2011, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, made an unequivocal statement on the matter.
“It is clear that Poland hosted secret CIA prisons between December 2002 and September 2003. We know who was held there and what interrogation methods were used. They can be described as torture.”
Leszek Miller was prime minister of Poland at that time, at the head of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) government.
He has repeatedly denied knowledge of such a site, which is alleged to have been located in a villa near the Stare Kiejkuty military base in north east Poland.
Find this story at 19 June 2012
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