As the Obama administration continues its so far successful efforts to prevent any accountability for torture by US officials, the struggle is moving elsewhere. Yesterday brought news that an attorney for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — who has alleged torture at the CIA’s hands in a Polish secret prison — was enouraging the Polish proecutor to investigate:
A human rights organization and lawyers for a Saudi man accused in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole demanded Tuesday that Polish prosecutors investigate the terror suspect’s detention and treatment at a CIA prison once housed in Poland.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is the first detainee subjected to the CIA’s detention and interrogation program who has taken legal action in Poland, said Amrit Singh, a senior legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Mikolaj Pietrzak, an attorney who represents al-Nashiri in Poland, told The Associated Press he filed the petition Tuesday with prosecutors in Warsaw.
Unlike in the US, in Poland there is an active investigation into torture collusion by Polish officials:
Prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski in Warsaw said Pietrzak’s petition would likely be wrapped into his office’s overall probe.
“It does not require the opening of a separate investigation,” he said, adding that he still had to study the documents.
The prosecutors are investigating possible abuse of power by Polish public officials in connection with the closed CIA black site near the secluded Szymany airport in northeast Poland. Flight logs trace several landings of planes linked to the CIA there. Prosecutors have been looking into the site since 2008 but have not yet filed charges.
Polish media have reported that prosecutors are considering war crimes charges against former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and two other officials in connection with the CIA prison site. Kwasniewski, Poland’s president from 1995-2005, has said he was unaware of the CIA prison.
This morning the AP reports that an investigation has been opened:
A Polish prosecutor says his office has opened an investigation into whether a Saudi man accused in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was mistreated in a prison that the CIA allegedly ran in Poland.
Mierzewski says Polish prosecutors will decide ”one by one” on al-Nashiri’s requests for many witnesses to be questioned.
September 22nd, 2010