Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Monday, 25 August 2008 17:34 UK

Poland probes 'secret CIA jail'

Szymany airport, Poland
Szymany airport is said to be where CIA interrogations took place

Prosecutors in Poland are investigating allegations that the American CIA interrogated terrorist suspects at a secret jail on Polish soil.

The investigation began three weeks ago, one prosecutor told Polish media.

A report released in June 2007 by the Council of Europe said the CIA ran secret jails in Poland and Romania in 2003-2005, to hold al-Qaeda suspects.

Polish and Romanian officials denied the claim. The secret CIA operation was known as "extraordinary rendition".

Asked about the alleged CIA jail in Poland on Monday, a Polish justice ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency: "I can confirm that such an investigation is ongoing".

Dick Marty, the Swiss senator who led the Council of Europe inquiry, said a secret agreement among Nato allies allowed the CIA to operate the secret jails.

Unnamed CIA sources quoted by Mr Marty said Poland was the "black site" where eight "high-value detainees (HVDs)" were interrogated, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - alleged mastermind of the 11 September attacks on the US in 2001.

An investigation by the BBC's Nick Hawton in 2006 identified the "black site" as Szymany airport, a remote military airstrip in north-eastern Poland.

The first reports about a Polish "black site" for CIA interrogations surfaced in 2005.

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