2011-07-29 Investigation into Polish CIA prison extended

The investigation into an alleged CIA black site in the Masovian village of Stare Kiejkuty has been extended by six months, a spokesperson for the Warsaw prosecutor's office confirms to Polish press agency PAP.

According to a source quoted by PAP, the prosecution requires additional evidence and is at present unable to conclude the investigation. Even though the exact nature of this evidence remains obscure, it is likely to include witness statements of the alleged victims. As Polish public TV reports, the prosecution filed a request for mutual legal assistance to the US to hear Abu Zubaida and Abd al Nashiri in this capacity, and are waiting for a reply. Both are currently held in Guantanamo.

The prosecution has already admitted that more than ten CIA flights landed in Szymany airport, which may also have carried prisoners. Whereas this fact is evident from flight plans that are now freely available on the internet, it is more difficult to establish whether prisoners were tortured inside a potential detention facility, in particular if both the alleged victims and perpetrators cannot be heard.

Independently, this case is also being investigated on a European level. Lawyers acting on behalf of al Nashiri compiled the existing evidence from publicly available sources, mainly official US documents, and submitted a complaint to the European court of Human Rights. Amongst others, they accuse Poland of unlawful detention, torture and failing to conduct an efficient investigation.

It is unclear whether these documents are being taken into account by the Polish prosecution. Also, in April 2011, Robert Majewski, one of the prosecutors who was subsequently removed from the case, stated to Polish public TV that he commissioned translations of documents recently released by WikiLeaks. It is not known whether the change in regime affected proceedings in this regard.

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They must need the time for negotiations and

for further muddying the evidence trail.

Certainly, there cannot be provisions in the Polish constitution allowing foreign powers to operate prisons on Polish soil. (At least, given historic events, I would hope not.)

Also, there is no question that The United States flew prisoners to Poland and held them there. Thus, I suspect asking time for additional investigation is merely a delying tactic. It would be very interesting to have input from Jerzy Mierzewski on the need for further investigation.

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