Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-07-05-Speech-3-164"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, this Parliament constantly has to tackle a high-minded and difficult task: making its personal contribution to combating terror. As you know, on Saturday, alongside our British friends, we will be commemorating the fifty people who died in last year’s bomb attacks in London. Thanks to the work of our assistants – the committee staff, whom I would like to thank – we have reconstructed in detail a complex system of aircraft and fictitious companies used by the CIA for its assignments in recent years; we have minutely reconstructed the routes of over one thousand flights, which we have made available to our fellow Members of Parliament. We know that many of these flights were routine flights used to transport equipment or officials, but not all of them were: Abu Omar, Maher Arar, Khaled el-Masri, Mohamed Algiza and many others were roughly loaded onto and transported in these aircraft to their prisons. These flights have landed in our airports, used our skies and taken advantage of our silence with impunity and in only one case out of 1 084 flights has a police officer claimed to be able to identify crews and passengers. Mr President, we have provided the victims of scandalous errors of justice with a voice and the right to speak, as we have those who have enabled this committee to do its work. We now have a difficult task before us, for which we ask Parliament to authorise us to continue our work until the end of our mandate, in the knowledge that the truth that we will have obtained and consolidated by the end of it will constitute a body of work to be placed at the disposal of all European countries and, of course, of this Parliament. We have another equally difficult task: investigating the truth, including the truth about the abuses committed over the past few years in the name of the fight against terrorism. This is the raison d’être of our committee: the truth about the rights denied those accused of being our enemies, but who, as human beings who stand accused, are entitled to representation by a lawyer, to a trial, a judge and dignified and humane treatment. Mr President, where there are no rights there are no laws – merely the exercise of force and arbitrary acts. When we talk of extraordinary rendition, which is the theme on which our committee has focused, we are talking about an arbitrary act that certain countries want and others accept in the name of the fight against terrorism. Extraordinary rendition refers to the extraordinary transport of terrorist suspects captured by the CIA and sent to complaisant countries that are willing to interrogate them using any methods at their disposal and to hold them without trial. In recent years, Mr President, rendition has been a fact and not an opinion or a conjecture. It is a fact that has even been admitted by the US State Department, a practice that has been used and abused, even to the detriment of European citizens. We are reserving the work conclusions reached in the past few months, and those that we hope to reach over the next few months, for the concluding report; but it is now our duty to inform you of a vast and general range of offences, involving various European countries and different levels of responsibility: some have been complicit, some have covered up the illegal operations and some have simply looked the other way. A few hours ago, news arrived from Italy that the Milan investigating judge has signed a protective custody warrant against the deputy director of the Sismi, the Italian military security service, for acting as an accomplice in the abduction of Abu Omar, the Milan imam who was kidnapped, in whose case another twenty-two preventative custody warrants have been issued against CIA agents. And here I must impress upon you the seriousness of the fact that the director of the Sismi, General Pollari, appeared before our committee to assert that his agency had never received any information regarding this abduction. Let us note the fact that the deputy director was arrested because he was considered to be responsible for this abduction. Mr President, we are not a court of justice; because of this event, however, we have an additional responsibility at the political and institutional levels, as do governments and Member States, to which we appeal because the burden of proof – precisely because we are not a court of justice – is a burden that must be shared with the governments, whose full collaboration and commitment to absolute truth we will need in the months to come. Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we would like to make every effort to discover the plain truth on the facts and responsibilities, to ensure above all that these events and abuses are never repeated on European territory or to the detriment of European citizens, and I believe that this is the ultimate aim of our committee."@en1

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