Portuguese Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral was scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee Tuesday to explain what the government knows about alleged CIA flights passing through Portugal. Media reports have claimed airplanes allegedly belonging to companies used by the CIA to transport terrorism suspects have landed at Portuguese airports. One newspaper claimed that suspected CIA planes had stopped in Portugal 59 times over the past three years.
Freitas do Amaral previously said Portugal was consulting with U.S. and European authorities to find out whether the planes were working for the CIA and carrying suspected terrorist captives. He has refused to elaborate until his appearance before the committee.
Freitas do Amaral was a vocal opponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and has leveled fierce criticism at U.S. foreign policy.
Other European countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Cyprus, Romania and Ireland have been identified in media reports as countries through whose airports and airspace CIA flights transporting prisoners may have passed. The Council of Europe, the continent's main human rights watchdog, has begun an investigation of the allegations, first reported by the Washington Post and Human Rights Watch, reports the AP. I.L.