4 Dec 2013

Polish CIA interrogation case being heard

6:40 am on 4 December 2013

Accusations that Poland hosted a secret prison and torture centre for the CIA have been heard in open court for the first time.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has heard claims that Warsaw allowed the United States to interrogate terrorist suspects at a secret prison in 2002.

The BBC reports Abu Zubaydah, 42, a Palestinian, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 48, a Saudi, say they were tortured.

They are currently held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Abu Zubaydah was suspected of making travel arrangements for jihadis loyal to Osama Bin Laden, including those who carried out the September 2001 attacks in the United States.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was accused of organising an attack on the USS Cole warship in 2000 in Yemen, in which 17 sailors died.

A court statement said their submissions are based mainly on publicly available sources, because of the restrictions imposed at Guantanamo Bay.

Only part of the hearing is public. The BBC reports the rest is being held behind closed doors.

The men were flown to Poland in December 2002.

Former President George W Bush authorised the rendition policy shortly after the 9/11 attacks to allow the CIA to interrogate terror suspects secretly outside the United States.

In a report to the Council of Europe Swiss senator Dick Marty has named the detention centre as Stare Kiejkuty, an intelligence training base near Szczytno in northern Poland.