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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
SNP looks at 'rendition' evidence
Prisoner at Guantanamo Bay
Rendition flights are said to have landed at Glasgow and Prestwick
The SNP government has said it is prepared to examine evidence that Scottish airports have been used by CIA "rendition flights".

First Minister Alex Salmond invited human rights groups to meet Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill on the issue.

The move came after a report by police chiefs concluded there was no evidence such flights had landed in England.

But their inquiry did not investigate allegations that CIA aircraft refuelled at Glasgow and Prestwick airports.

Human rights groups have claimed the CIA uses Scotland as a stop-off point as they carry terrorism suspects to secret prisons elsewhere in Europe, Africa and Asia, where they may face torture.

We will evaluate that information to see if the police inquiry south of the border looked at the Scottish case and the Scottish circumstances
Alex Salmond
First Minister

Speaking on the BBC's Politics Show, the first minister said any evidence presented to the government would be evaluated before a decision was taken on whether a full Scottish investigation should be carried out.

He added: "I would certainly invite the organisations, including Justice - the organisation which looks at civil liberties south of the border - to come and meet the justice secretary in Scotland and bring with them the evidence that causes them such concern.

"That's an invitation to all groups and organisations including our Scottish ones who have that concern.

"We will evaluate that information to see if the police inquiry south of the border looked at the Scottish case and the Scottish circumstances, evaluate that information we're given and then we'll proceed from there."

'Great concerns'

Mr Salmond also welcomed reports that UK justice minister Harriet Harman wanted international law changed so that foreign governments must notify another country when flying prisoners through its airspace.

"That's the sort of thinking I think will cause a great deal of relief to a number of people who have great concerns about this," he said.

The 18-month English inquiry was led by Michael Todd, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo).

It examined claims by human rights group Liberty that "extraordinary rendition" flights chartered by the US government through the CIA landed in the UK to refuel.

But a statement released by Acpo said Mr Todd had "concluded that there is indeed no evidence to substantiate Liberty's allegations."

Liberty said the report was a "whitewash" and pointed out Mr Todd had not examined the allegations surrounding Scottish airports.

Last year, a Foreign Office minister said that a rendition flight containing a detainee had landed at Prestwick Airport in June 1998.

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07 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West

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