CIA ‘plane used for torture flights landed in Britain last week’

The row over the use of British air bases for American “torture” flights flared up again last night following evidence that a plane linked to the transport of terrorist suspects landed in Britain on Wednesday.A Gulfstream IV private jet, which has been identified by Amnesty International as a CIA-linked plane implicated in so-called “rendition,” arrived at RAF Northolt in West London just hours before the Government was forced into a humiliating U-turn on the practice.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted to the Commons on Thursday that two US rendition flights landed at a British air base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in 2002 – despite previous repeated denials from Tony Blair and Jack Straw.

Former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett revealed poor record keeping could be to blame for the government’s late disclosure on the subject.

Ms Beckett, who is now chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, said that when she was Foreign Secretary she was told by the Americans that there was no evidence of British airspace being used for the flights.

She told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “It was very difficult for the Government to go back and look at what had happened on previous occasions. There was not a clear, simple trace of record keeping.

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Flight logs reveal secret rendition

THE secret flight plans of American military planes have revealed for the first time how European countries helped send prisoners, including British citizens, to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Despite widespread criticism of alleged human rights abuses and torture at the US base in Cuba, a Sunday Times investigation has shown that at least five European countries gave the United States permission to fly nearly 700 terrorist suspects across their territory.

Three years ago, The Sunday Times published flight logs of CIA civilian jets in Europe, setting off a controversy over the whether countries across the continent have been secretly involved in America’s rendition of terrorist suspects to countries that carry out torture.

The row is now set to be reignited. Inquiries by Ana Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European parliament, have uncovered not only more CIA flight logs but also more sensitive military flight plans, which until now have remained a closely guarded secret.

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