NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
RENDITION ISSUE: AIRPORT RECORDS ONLY KEPT FOR THREE MONTHS
Strathclyde Police have responded to the Celtic League communication asking them to renew enquiries into allegations of rendition via Scottish Airports. The full text of their response is set out below.
The revelation that “the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), only retain data for last 3 months,” is of particular interest and it comes as a surprise that in the digital age, when the storage of data is so easy, information is retained for such a limited period.
The Celtic League is grateful for the response from Strathclyde Police (FOI unit) and we will be considering in the coming weeks how to take the matter forward
173 Pitt Street
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NUMBER 0769/2012
I refer to your request for information dated 11 September 2012, which was received by Strathclyde Police on that date.
The Celtic League wrote to you in December 2004 concerning allegations that Airports in your force area have been used:
“as a refuelling base for jet being used by American intelligence agencies to fly terrorist suspects to countries that torture prisoners”.
“I feel sure if persons being held against their will were transferred through your force area in this manner without the authorities being notified you would wish to check on their subsequent treatment and indeed establish if any of the persons transported in this way had been ill-treated in any way before or after their arrival in Scotland.”
Although you responded at the time as far as we are aware no serious attempt was undertaken to ascertain the veracity of these reports.
One of the aircraft allegedly used in these renditions was a Boeing 737 (serial number N313P) which called at airports in Scotland on several occasions. One of the problems in relation to pursuing this matter was (we understand) the fact that there was no corroborative evidence that this aircraft was involved in such rendition flights.
However, new documentation (recently published) shows that this plane was directly involved in these activities. The documentation is in the form of a memo from US and British intelligence officials to Libyan intelligence head, Musa Kusa, and it clearly identifies the aircrafts involvement in these activities and indeed also names those involved.
Can I ask if Strathclyde Police, given that such strong evidence is now available, will seek to establish if any law was broken whilst this aircraft was using airport facilities in Scotland and specifically if the aircraft was carrying persons against their will to be tortured.
It does little to engender public confidence in the police when it appears that deference to political or intelligence service interference from the London government allows investigation of serious criminal wrongdoing to be sidelined”.
In response to the foregoing, I can advise that Strathclyde Police does not hold any information in relation to this matter.
Further, and crucially, this force has previously considered its position in relation to this matter and determined that there was no evidence at that time of any crimes having been committed within the Strathclyde area. Moreover, I can advise that there is an absence of any new information to support an assertion of the commission of any crime, punishable by domestic law, while an aircraft was landed in the Strathclyde area.
In continuation, I consider perspective to the foregoing may be appropriate at this juncture. As outlined, we do not hold information in relation to either of the aircraft mentioned in your request. Anecdotally, the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), only retain data for last 3 months, as well as the handling bagents at both Glasgow & Glasgow Prestwick airport, and in that regards I would
suggest that data may not be held.
I do appreciate that the foregoing will not be that which you would have hoped for as a response, and furthermore, I realise that you would have been looking for a more comprehensive and edifying response, nonetheless, given the foregoing explanation, I hope you will value the rationale why.
I hope this information is helpful, however, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you are entitled in the first instance to request a review of the decision made by the Force. Should you wish to request such a review, please write to Mrs Sheena Brennan, Information Manager at the above address within 40 working days of receiving this letter.
Once informed of the Review Panel’s decision, if you are still not satisfied, then you are entitled to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner within six months for a decision. Contact details are; Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife,
KY16 9DS, telephone 01334
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in Strathclyde Police. Should you require any further assistance concerning this matter please contact me directly on 0141 quoting the reference number given.
Freedom of Information Officer”
Related item on Celtic News here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
4th March 2013-03-04
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
General Secretary, Celtic League:
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors
all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues
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