The latest report of Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty confirms long-standing suspicions that the British-owned island of Diego Garcia is hosting a secret CIA prison.
The report says: "we have received concurring confirmations that United States agencies have used the island territory of Diego Garcia, which is the international legal responsibility of the United Kingdom, in the 'processing' of high-value detainees. "
Responding to the report, lawyer Clive Stafford Smith said: "Reprieve has been in possession of flight logs showing CIA planes flying in and out of the island for almost a year now. A US General has twice said Diego Garcia is being used for secret prisons. Now, the Council of Europe confirms it. And what has the British Government done? Behaved like an ostrich with its head in the sand. Their defence is the US stated nothing was going on, so there was no need to investigate. Nonsense. The UK Government has deliberately ignored clear proof that British territory has been used to support this illegal, repugnant system of kidnap and torture."
Clive Stafford Smith is the Legal Director of the charity Reprieve and represents a number og Guantamo detainees.
Dick Marty's report for the Council of Europe also says: "There is now enough evidence to state that secret detention facilities run by the CIA did exist in Europe from 2003 to 2005, in particular in Poland and Romania. "
The report documents the development of the CIA's "High Value Detainee" (HVD) programme
It says: "the HVD programme has formed a very specific, narrow and unique strand of the United States' counter-terrorist operations in the period since 11 September 2001."
A senior CIA source told Council of Europe investigators: "If a guy is captured on the battlefield and sent to [Guantanamo], that's got nothing to do with it. But I think there is a tendency in the media, in Europe and in America, to blend together what the FBI is doing, what the military is doing and what the CIA is doing - to attribute it all to the same programme. And frankly, you can't do that. The HVD programme is a very structured, very rigorous programme."
Guantanamo Bay "offered nothing" akin to the secrecy and isolation that the CIA demanded.
Dick Marty says: "the HVD programme has depended on extraordinaryauthorisations - unprecedented in nature and scope - at both national and international levels."