Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition
Henry Foy, Central Europe Correspondent
Financial Times, Last updated: February 18, 2015 6:23 pm
Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.
The country will pay €230,000 in compensation to two terror suspects held at a CIA site in Poland between 2002 and 2003, the first state-level fine in relation to the programme set up by the US to increase counter-terrorism activity after the September 11 attacks.
Politicians in Poland, an important US ally, have admitted that the country did host a CIA “black site”, but a six-year long domestic investigation into the facility has so far failed to provide any judgments.
Grzegorz Schetyna, foreign minister, said on Wednesday that Poland would accept the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights ordering it to pay the former detainees.
“We will abide by this ruling because we are a law-abiding country,” Mr Schetyna told local radio. “It is a question of the coming weeks, a month.”
Last July, the European court ruled Poland had violated the rights of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah in permitting the CIA to imprison them in the country.
After the two men subsequently sued the country, the court also ordered Poland to pay compensation. That ruling was appealed but upheld this week.
Both men are currently being held at the US military detention centre in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, raising potential issues with how they will be paid.
“There is a question with how the money will be spent, whether we will pay them directly,” said Mr Schetyna.
The court ordered Poland to pay €130,000 to Mr Zubaydah and €100,000 to al-Nashiri, who has been charged with organising the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American seamen.
Other European countries such as Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia and Romania have either admitted their role or been found to have participated in elements of the CIA programme.
Poland’s own investigation into the detention centre has rumbled on since 2008 with little visible progress….
European Court of Human Rights : Information Note on the Court’s case-law
No. 176 July 2014
Extraordinary rendition to CIA of suspected terrorist facing capital charges: violation
Al Nashiri v. Poland – 28761/11
Judgment 24.7.2014 [Section IV
[See pdf below, Article 3, page 13 for overview of the facts of the case, decision inventory and rationales.]