Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Part II: Extraordinary Renditions through Spain

Flight record as printed by El Pais.

This was a follow-up story filed by M.G. for El Pais [Subscription may be required.]

The CNI demands an end to flights using Spanish territory

Sources inside the Spanish Government have informed EL PAIS that just before summer, officials of the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI) asked their counterparts in the CIA to avoid using Spanish territory for the transfer of illegally held prisoners

The request was in response to the revelation to the public that CIA-chartered aircraft was using Son Sant Joan Airport (Palma de Majorca). [The newspaper La Opinión de Tenerife reports that CIA was using airports in the Canary Islands for at least five flights to and from Morocco].

According to our sources, the CIA has never officially recognized the existence of these flights although Spanish intelligence services were doubtlessly aware of them. The same sources tell El Pais that CIA contacts had acknowledged the Spanish request to end such flights as well as a warning that any incident connected with the flights (a medical emergency or death of an “irregular passenger”) could ignite a diplomatic incident between the two nations.

Izquierda Unida has urged that the ministers of Defense and Interior, José Bono and José Antonio Alonso, be summoned before Congreso to testify on the usage of Son San Joan Airport (Palma de Majorca) and other airports on Spanish territory by the CIA.

In a memorandum to Parliament, the Interior Ministry has maintained that the information on the use of Spanish airports by CIA-chartered aircraft amounted to doubtful “uncorroborated facts”.


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