A Polish official claims that prosecutors in Krakow have proof the CIA wanted a special “torture cage” to be constructed at one of its secret “black site” prisons.
According to ABC News, the proof consists of a document showing that “a local contractor was asked to build a cage at Stare Kiekuty, a Polish army base used as a CIA prison for al Qaeda terror suspects in 2002 and 2003.”
Senator Jozef Pinior told the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza that he had not seen the construction order himself but that the prosecutor’s office has a copy of it. “In a state with rights, people are not kept in cages,” Pinior stated.
He said he was sure the cage was intended for humans, since there could have been no other purpose for it, and that a cage is “non-standard equipment” for a prison unless “torture was used there.”
The CIA has declined to comment on these allegations.
Gazeta Wyborcza also reports that the prosecutor’s office has a signed order from the former head of Polish intelligence, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, authorizing the creation of the black site. According to the paper’s source, there is no American signature “because they do not want to sign documents inconsistent with their own Constitution and international law.”
Siemiatkowski has refused to either confirm or deny the existence of the agreement but acknowledges that he is under investigation for permitting the corporal punishment of prisoners of war.
The existence of the CIA’s black site network was first revealed by the Washington Post in 2005, but the Stare Kiekuty location was only identified in 2007, in a Raw Story article by Larisa Alexandrovna and David Dastych. Since then, Abu Zubaydah and other terrorism suspects have stated that they were tortured at the former intelligence training school before being taken to Guantanamo.
Raw Story reported at the time that “only the Polish prime minister and top Polish intelligence brass were told of the plan, in which agents of the United States quietly shuttled detainees from other holding facilities around the globe for stopovers and short-term interrogation in Poland between late 2002 and 2004.”
According to the current ABC story, “Alexander Kwasniewski and Leszek Miller, who were president and prime minister at the time it was allegedly used as a CIA prison, have denied the existence of the Stare Kiekuty black site. Sen. Pinior said he presented his evidence ‘with regret, because I always valued [Kwasniewski’s] presidency.'”
Image by Carwil at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (//www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons