WCW Home News Recent News 3/3/19 Cops probing use of Scots airports for CIA 'Guantanamo Express' torture flights hand over files
3/3/19 Cops probing use of Scots airports for CIA 'Guantanamo Express' torture flights hand over files PDF Print E-mail
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By Craig McDonald

From Daily Record | Original Article

A final report into so-called rendition stopovers has been given to prosecutors more than five years after the investigation began.

The Gulfstream Jet, known as the Guantanamo Express, at Glasgow Airport (Image: Fred Seggie)

Detectives investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA torture flights have filed a final report to prosecutors more than five years after the probe began.

Prosecutors could now level charges against US officials or organisations involved in the flights.

A police inquiry into so-called rendition stopovers was ordered by then lord advocate Frank Mulholland in 2013.

Politicians welcomed the breakthrough but demanded Mulholland’s successor James Wolffe “outlined where the investigation is going”.

Campaigners have compared the US planes to getaway cars used in bank jobs – and say the investigation into whether they broke Scots law is vital.

Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie, who described rendition as a “vile practice”, gave a “qualified welcome” to the news.

He said: “I plan to write to the Lord Advocate again on these important developments.”

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, said: “The previous Lord Advocate had committed to investigating this matter. The current Lord Advocate must now outline where that investigation is – and where it is going.”

Dr Sam Raphael, of research group The Rendition Project, said: “Scottish territory was a vital part of these torture flights.

“The question remains: Can those involved in these serious crimes be brought to justice?”

We revealed in 2014 that police were investigating at least six stopovers – four at Prestwick airport and two at Glasgow.

Research by academics suggested 13 possible rendition flights also landed at Inverness, Wick and Aberdeen between 2004 and 2006.

When Mulholland informed MSPs in June 2013 that the flights would be probed by police, he said: “The use of torture can’t be condoned.

“It is against international law and contrary to the common law of Scotland.”

The US Senate issued a partially classified 500-page report on the CIA detention and interrogation programme in December 2014. Police Scotland asked the following year to see the full 6000-page report, which would reveal dates, locations and other details removed from the 500-page version. Scottish detectives have never received it.

It would include information that nails three flights which touched down in Scotland as being involved in transporting suspects for torture. One is Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, rendered from Afghanistan to Poland for torture in 2003.

Gulfstream jet N379P – dubbed the Guantanamo Express – stopped at Glasgow Airport in March 2003 on the way back from dropping him at a CIA torture prison in Poland known as Detention Site Blue.

In evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee, Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said US officials had refused permission for officers to board a flight to check the occupants. We told last year how police said they have no idea how much the five-year probe has cost taxpayers.

They said they did “not hold information” on the cost.

Police Scotland confirmed that the report had been submitted to the Crown Office.

The Crown Office said they had received the information, now being considered by their Serious and Organised Crime Division, but could not comment further as it was a live investigation.

 
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