BRUSSELS, Belgium – A European Parliament delegation is to meet U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried next week to discuss allegations of questionable CIA activities in Europe, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
British Liberal Democrat deputy Sarah Ludford said the delegation that will meet with Fried consists of members of a parliamentary committee investigating allegations that the CIA ran secret detention centers in Europe and secretly transported terror suspects over European territory.
They also are to hold talks with at least two congressmen and several human rights activists and lawyers, according to a preliminary list obtained by the Associated Press.
But the delegation is unlikely to meet any current high-ranking CIA officials.
"That door may remain closed," said Ludford.
The lawmakers are to meet Fried, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, on Thursday, May 11. They are to meet U.S. congressional Representative Robert Wexler on Wednesday and Representative Ed Markey on Thursday, according to the list.
The allegations that the CIA hid and interrogated key Al Qaeda suspects at Soviet-era compounds in Eastern Europe were first reported last November in The Washington Post. Human Rights Watch identified Romania and Poland as possible sites of the detention centers, but both countries denied involvement.
The EU parliament began an inquiry into the reports in January, and has so far heard from senior EU officials, human rights activists and people who said they were kidnapped by U.S. agents and transferred to secret prisons.
"We've got to the point where governments can no longer ignore the allegations," "We've heard some credible testimony," Ludford said.
No senior EU official or government leader has confirmed any questionable or illegal activities on European territory. But the parliamentary committee heard from a Kuwait-born German and a Syrian-born Canadian who both described how they were kidnapped and kept imprisoned by foreign agents.
The committee has no legal power to subpoena people, and relies on voluntary testimonies.