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Germany

Report Clears Berlin of Knowledge of CIA Flights

An independent report has backed the German government's statement that it did not know about secret CIA flights transporting terrorism suspects through Germany at the time they were made between 2001 and 2003.

A US plane landing

Officials were unaware who was onboard US military flights through Germany, a report found

According to the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a report commissioned by Germany's intelligence agency, the BND, concludes that there's no reason to doubt Berlin's position that it only found out about the three Egyptian terror suspects transited through Germany at the end of 2004 through media reports.

The report by Joachim Jacob, rapporteur for the BND commission of inquiry, confirmed that Egyptian-born Abu Omar was transited through the United States' Ramstein air base near Frankfurt in February 2003 en route to Egypt after being arrested by the CIA in Milan.

The report also detailed another previously unreported flight through German airspace in December 2001, carrying two Egyptians the CIA had detained in Stockholm.

For his report, Jacob interviewed 48 officials, examined 56 written statements, and spoke with 40 members of rights groups and lawyers for the alleged victims. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on Tuesday, April 15, that he found no reason to doubt the German government's position.

US still needs to provide information

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) rapporteur Dick Marty

Dick Marty wrote a separate report for the Council of Europe

However, Jacob added in his report that no final conclusions can be drawn until the United States makes more information about the flights available.

His findings differ from those of an investigator for the Council of Europe who looked into the CIA affair last year. Then, Dick Marty concluded that Germany and 13 other European countries colluded in or tolerated the secret transfer of CIA terrorism suspects.

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