MEP Increases Pressure On LIB DEMS To Launch CIA Inquiry

01 December 2006
SNP MEP Alyn Smith is calling on the Lib Dem transport minister to launchan inquiry into the use of Highland airports by CIA rendition flights.

It follows a scathing report by the European Parliament that shows 170 flights went through UK airports and attacks the UK government for its lack of cooperation with the reports authors.

Speaking on the issue Mr Smith said,

"On one hand the Lib Dems say they want an inquiry into the issue offlights allegedly taking CIA prisoners to be tortured using our airports but on the other hand the Scottish Lib Dem transport minister Tavish Scott, who has the power to launch a domestic Scottish inquiry, refuses to do so.

"They are failing to promote open and transparent government and people must only wonder what pressure is being put on them by their coalition colleagues to ignore the issue.

"The SNP believes that people in the Highlands and across Scotland wantand deserve to know the truth about how the nation's airports are being used and the lengths the UK government has taken to bury its head in the sand.

"This report accuses governments across Europe of obstructing the inquiry and failing to provide the evidence - we have no idea what went on at Wick or other Highlands airports - if the Lib Dems are so concerned they should have an inquiry, in Scotland and release all the information to the European Parliament.

"An SNP government will not only investigate what did happen but ensure that in future Scottish airports are not used for this kind of activity again."

END

Note to Editors

The final version of the European Parliament Temporary Committee report will be voted on in the New Year.