8 December 2005 Edition

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Shannon - suspect planes must be searched

Following a Swedish parliamentary investigation into 'extraordinary renditions' and information obtained by RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said Sinn Féin had called repeatedly for Garda inspections of planes identified by human rights' groups as possibly being involved in transportation of prisoners by the CIA to locations where they could be tortured.

O Snodaigh said: "US authorities expect their assurance to the contrary to be accepted and the Irish Government is choosing to rely on these. I have been calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to back up these assurances with evidence because until the planes are inspected everything is deniable.

Unfortunately, the government have made it clear in their own statements and in responses to parliamentary questions placed by myself that they don not intend to inspect the planes unless evidence is brought forward.

However, further evidence cannot be produced until the doors of the planes are opened — it is a classic Catch-22 situation.

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