US refuses to cooperate with Poland in CIA prisons probe
PR dla Zagranicy
The US Department of Justice has once again declined to cooperate with Poland in the latter's investigation into whether CIA prisons were created on Polish soil for the interrogation of terrorism suspects from 2002 to 2003.
The Appellate Prosecutor's Office in Kraków, which is leading the Polish investigation, confirmed that “four successive requests for legal assistance” have been declined by the US Department of Justice.
Altogether, five separate refusals have been made, and one matter is still being reviewed by American authorities.
According to Piotr Kosmaty, spokesman for the Appellate Prosecutor's Office in Kraków, the US justified its recent refusals by “relying on an annex in the Polish-US agreement on legal assistance, according to which such assistance may be refused if reasons of national security are cited.”
One of the recent Polish requests that was denied was an application for access to the entire US Senate report on CIA torture, published in December 2014, covering the years 2001 to 2006, during the US-led 'War on Terror.'
The publication of a summarised, yet redacted version of the report, indicated that torture had been carrried out at CIA prisons in Europe, including Poland, although explicit references to specific countries were not released.
The release of the summary prompted former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski to admit that Poland has been asked to provide a “quiet location” for questioning suspects following the September 11 attacks of 2001.
Kwaśniewski, who was in office between 1995 and 2005 claimed however that no authorisation was given for the harsh treatment of detainees.
Poland's investigation was launched in 2008.
Poland has already been compelled to pay compensation to two Saudi Arabian citizens who were apparently tortured in a CIA prison on Polish soil from 2002-2003, after Warsaw lost its appeal in a case that went before the European Court of Human Rights. (nh/rk)