Polish prosecutors: US impeding CIA prison investigation

Prosecutors in Krakow investigating secret CIA prison on Polish soil seek full, unredacted version of a report by the US Senate intelligence committee but receive no assistance

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Polish prosecutors have accused the United States of ignoring their request for the full, unredacted version of a report by the US Senate which they say could shed light on allegations on a secret, CIA-operated prison on Polish soil.

Last December, a report by the US Senate intelligence committee revealed how the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used techniques such as waterboarding and mock executions on terrorist suspects, who were later transferred to Guantanamo, at secret overseas facilities following 9/11.

The report named the locations of the secret prisons but in the summary that was released to the public they were blacked out.

Polish prosecutors reportedly have asked the US Justice Department a total of six times for a full, unredacted copy of the report to help their criminal investigation into allegations that the CIA operated such a facility in northern Poland.

“The US side did not send Poland a full version of the report … despite our written request,” said a representative from the office handling the investigation.

The same official from the Appellate Prosecutor’s office in Krakow, Piotr Kosmaty, told Reuters “We have not received any legal assistance from the American side.”

“This is undoubtedly hampering the investigation,” Kosmaty told the Associated Press.

A document submitted by the Polish government to the Council of Europe, the leading human rights body of the continent, said “The first one of those applications was refused and the other five were not even answered.”

Polish officials, according to the document, had brought up the United States’ reluctance to help in a series of diplomatic and other contacts, to no avail.

Among those contacts were a meeting between a senior Polish diplomat and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary at the State Department in April, and one in February between the Polish prosecutor general and Eric Holder, the US Attorney General at the time.

“For any partner of the US government in these operations, they should be sent the full, unredacted [Senate] report,” Julia Hall, a counter-terrorism expert with Amnesty International, told Reuters.

“They have a right to information. That is information which potentially could help them with their investigation.”

Poland’s government has never acknowledged hosting a CIA jail even though the European Court of Human Rights imposed a $250,000 penalty against Poland for two terror suspects allegedly being tortured by the CIA on the grounds of a Polish intelligence academy used by the organisation between 2002 and 2003.

Alexander Kwasniewski, who was president during that period, said last December that he knew of the facility but believed the people there were cooperating with the CIA of their own free will.

“The CIA was not operating without the knowledge of these governments,” former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told Sputnik in May. “I am telling you what I know, and I am telling you what I perceive to be the truth.”

TRTWorld and agencies