Source Pravda.Ru

Senior policeman to investigate alleged CIA flights in Britain

A senior police officer promised to investigate allegations that secret &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2005/11/17/67886.html' target=_blank>CIA prisoner flights have landed in Britain, a human rights group said Monday.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Michael Todd had told its officials during a meeting Monday that he would begin investigations on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers, or Acpo, the Liberty rights group said.

Acpo declined to comment, saying only that a "useful meeting" had taken place with Liberty and that further discussions are planned for January.

Several European countries in addition to the Council of Europe _ Europe's human rights watchdog _ are investigating claims that the CIA sent prisoners through European airports to secret detention centers, in breach of international and national laws.

Liberty spokeswoman Jen Corlew said Todd had confirmed Monday "that he will look into 'extraordinary rendition' flights on behalf of Acpo."

"According to ... Todd, the police have begun initial inquiries and will follow Liberty's recommendations for further questioning," she said.

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said the group is "very pleased that the police are taking these concerns seriously."

"If suspects are being taken through the UK on their way to face torture, there have been serious breaches of international and domestic law. We intend to help the police and call on individuals with any information to come forward."

In September, The Guardian newspaper reported that more than 200 CIA or CIA-chartered flights used British airports since 2001.