BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 17:47 GMT
MEP's call on rendition flights
Plane landing at Prestwick
The Scottish National Party has compiled a list of flights
The Scottish Executive has been asked to co-operate fully with a new European committee's investigation into US flights carrying terror suspects.

It follows a report by the SNP which it believes details US intelligence flights through Scottish airports.

The party said the document lists in detail the planes, dates on which they landed and 10 firms which allegedly operated on behalf of the CIA.

The executive said it has no knowledge of Scottish airports being used.

The European Parliament has voted to set up a committee to investigate the flights. An investigation has already been established by human rights watchdog the Council of Europe.

MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, who was a driving force behind the new European investigation, said she expected resistance from some EU governments.

Human rights

The South of England MEP said Scotland would be expected to reveal any details it knew of how European countries may have been involved in the kidnapping or transportation of terror suspects, in contravention of their human rights.

However, Baroness Ludford said she accepted the executive's explanation that it knew little or nothing about CIA planes landing at Glasgow and Prestwick airports.

She said aviation, intelligence and foreign policy were retained by Westminster.

Angus Robertson
The Scottish Executive now has a responsibility to pursue this issue like other governments
Angus Robertson
SNP foreign affairs spokesman

The US Government has confirmed that a number of flights carrying terror suspects have taken place across the world under a process known as extraordinary rendition but has rejected allegations of prisoner abuse.

The SNP report gives registration numbers of planes and dates when they allegedly landed at Prestwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Among the planes identified is a Gulf stream jet, dubbed the "Guantanamo Bay Express", which was reportedly used to transport suspects to the US prison in Cuba.

According to the dossier, the plane landed five times at Glasgow and Prestwick airports between 2002 and the end of 2004.

'Blind eye'

The report also identified a DC 9 airliner which has been the focus of debate by the Norwegian Government and the Canadian Parliament.

The plane is listed in the report as having landed at both Glasgow and Prestwick airports in 2002 and 2003.

The SNP said much detail still has to emerge and acknowledges that not all the flights would be for rendition. It said some could have been used for other intelligence-gathering roles.

SNP foreign affairs spokesman Angus Robertson has sent a copy of the report to First Minister Jack McConnell as well as committees of the Council of Europe, European Parliament and Westminster, which are investigating the claims of rendition flights.

The Moray MP accused the first minister of turning a blind eye to the issue.

He said: "There is disquiet across Europe about this whole issue. This report gives worrying details about alleged rendition flights through Scotland.

Executive response

"The planes in question have been subject to diplomatic and parliamentary inquiries in different countries.

"This report establishes they did pass through Scottish airports.

"The Scottish Executive now has a responsibility to pursue this issue like other governments. Continuing with a 'hear no evil, see no evil' policy is just not good enough."

"The executive has no knowledge that Scottish airports have been used for so-called rendition flights," said a spokeswoman for ministers.

"The investigation of crime is a matter for the police.

"As we have always made clear, if any individual or organisation has any evidence of illegal activity, or of activities facilitating torture, then this information should be passed to the police."

Hear more from the SNP's Angus Robertson

MSPs urge prisoner flights detail
22 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Blair rules out CIA flights probe
21 Dec 05 |  Politics
Protest over 'prisoner flights'
18 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Call for 'prisoner flights' probe
15 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Straw: No record of CIA transfers
12 Dec 05 |  Politics
Prisoner flights warning to staff
08 Dec 05 |  Scotland
EU to query US 'secret prisons'
22 Nov 05 |  Europe


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific