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Report: U.S. was 'outsourcing' torture

No formal evidence of secret prisons, Swiss senator says

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Marty said there was no formal evidence so far of the existence of clandestine detention centers.

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(CNN) -- In his initial report to the Council of Europe on alleged secret prisons run by the CIA in eastern Europe to question terror suspects, a Swiss investigator said there was evidence of the "outsourcing" of torture by the United States, adding it was likely a number of Europe nations or their intelligence agencies knew about it.

"It has been proved -- and, in fact, never denied -- that individuals have been abducted, deprived of their liberty and transported ... in Europe, to be handed over to countries in which they have suffered ... torture," said Swiss Senator Dick Marty in a written statement.

Last month, the group Human Rights Watch said it had "not reached final conclusions about CIA operations in eastern Europe," but had collected information that CIA airplanes traveled from Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, making direct flights to remote airfields in Poland and Romania, and sometimes passing through other European nations.

According to Marty, the alleged operations involved more than 100 people.

While admitting there was no formal, irrefutable proof of the existence of secret CIA detention centers in Romania, Poland or any other country, Marty said there was "a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of 'relocation' or 'outsourcing' of torture."

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday afternoon called the report "old ground having been plowed."

"Same old reports wrapped up in some new rhetoric," he said. "There's nothing new here."

McCormack repeated what U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she told European leaders on a trip to the continent in December: "The United States does not torture. We respect the sovereignty of our European friends and allies."

He added, "Most importantly , the United States and Europe are fighting a common fight against terrorism."

During her talks in Europe, he said, Rice "got down to the core issue" of the challenge of fighting terrorism in a free society."

The Council of Europe launched its probe after allegations surfaced in November that U.S. agents interrogated key al Qaeda suspects at clandestine prisons in eastern Europe and transported some suspects to other countries passing through Europe.

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