Obama refuses cooperation with Poland’s CIA ‘black site’ probe

News from Poland

The U.S. Department of Justice has rejected a request from prosecutors in Warsaw for assistance in the investigation into the alleged CIA prisons in Poland, where captives claim they were tortured. [Image: A giant billboard has appeared on Ulica Żydowska in Poznan, designed by the Abnormals.org artistic group.]

On 18 March, the Prosecutor’s Office of Appeal in Warsaw filed a motion for legal assistance from the US Department of Justice into the probe.

On 7 October, reports the PAP news agency, the US informed prosecutors that the motion had been rejected on the basis of the international Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and that the U.S. authorities consider the matter “to be closed”.

According to the agreement, a country has the right to refuse to provide legal assistance if the execution of the request would encroach on this country’s security or another interest of this country.

The revelation that the US will not be cooperating with the investigation into the alleged black site, thought to have been in northern Poland near the Szymany air base, comes after a second man followed al-Qaeda suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in asking prosecutors in Warsaw to look into his case.

“According to the information we have, Abu Zubaydah was one of those people detained and interrogated by the CIA somewhere on the territory of Poland,” Polish lawyer Bartlomiej Jankowski told journalists in the Polish capital earlier this month.

Both Zubaydah and Nashiri are both currently being held at the U.S. military jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Despite denials from former president Aleksander Kwasniewski and former prime minister Leszek Miller that they knew of the CIA activity in Poland, air traffic control in Warsaw published a report stating that at least six CIA flights had landed at a disused military air base in northern Poland in 2003.

Two aircraft, a Boeing 737 and a Gulfstream V, were US-registered and previously known to be part of CIA operations. (pg/mg)

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