Poland has questions for 2 detainees in torture case

 

Associated Press

WARSAW -- Polish prosecutors investigating a secret CIA prison in Poland want the United States to question two Guantánamo Bay prisoners who allege they were held and abused in Poland.

Prosecutor Robert Majewski said Monday a request was made earlier this month and includes a list of questions prosecutors would like to be asked of the terrorism suspects -- an alleged terrorist facilitator, Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein, who is known as Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a key suspect in the attack on the USS Cole.

Both men were moved to Guantánamo in September 2006, by order of then President George W. Bush, and are now held at a secret prison site at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba called Camp 7.

"We need to have them questioned to confirm whether they were really held here," Majewski said. He refused to divulge the substance of the questions. There is no deadline for a reply, he added.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Jeanne Briganti declined comment Monday, citing administration policy not to make statements about intelligence issues.

In October, the U.S. Justice Department refused to assist Poland in its investigation, citing state interests.

Majewski said the refusal did not preclude Poland from again trying to get evidence from the men in the investigation of the prison, allegedly ran by the CIA in 2002 and 2003.

Lawyers for the suspects and human rights officials have urged the U.S. to comply with the Polish request.

"We hope that the U.S government will break from its pattern of covering up evidence of torture and illegal detention and comply with the Polish prosecutor's request for information relating to Mr. al-Nashiri's case," said Amrit Singh, senior legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The investigation was opened in 2008 at a request of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. All Polish leaders in power when the site allegedly ran have denied its existence.

CIA officials have, however, confirmed its existence to The Associated Press, and United Nations and Council of Europe investigators have also said they have evidence of its existence.

The Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg contributed material to this report from Washington D.C.

Read more Guantánamo stories from the Miami Herald

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