Austria joins investigations of covert CIA prisoner flights

[JURIST] Austria has joined several other countries investigating whether the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] conducted unauthorized flights through their airspace in 2003 while transporting terror detainees. An Austrian air force commander told state radio that a US transport plane traveling from Germany to Azerbaijan crossed Austrian airspace on Jan. 21, 2003. Austria refused to allow the US to use its airspace during the invasion of Iraq. Pentagon spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, said the US would not disclose which countries a military plane may fly over "or make brief refueling stops in during detainee movements ... (because) doing so would constitute a safety risk to both the detainees and our troops." Since it was alleged in early November that the US may have interrogated key suspects in secret prisons [JURIST report] in eastern Europe, several countries have begun investigating whether CIA aircraft entered their airspace. Airports or airspace may have been used in Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Macedonia and Malta, as well as the US air base at Ramstein, Germany. AP has more.

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