CIA Stopovers: Persson:’No Comment’ - Left Party Demands Probe
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has declined to comment on press reports about his government’s position concerning CIA flight stopovers in this country. Persson’s refusal came after the Left Party demanded that the constitutional committee of the Swedish parliament investigate the facts surrounding CIA planes landing on Swedish soil.
Swedish tabloid Expressen had reported that the CIA used Swedish airports for stopovers when transporting suspected terrorists to secret prisons outside the USA and that the Persson government was aware of this in at least one case.
Meanwhile, the defense ministry has confirmed part of Expressen’s coverage of the issue. A military spokesman said that in 2005 officers had boarded a CIA plane during a stopover at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport to find out if prisoners were being transported.
Former justice minister Thomas Bodström told the Swedish TT news agency that cooperating with American authorities in prisoner transports was not illegal as long as no crimes were committed on Swedish territory.