Czarek Sokolowski/AP Photo
Dec. 16, 2005 file photo
A Polish official says that prosecutors have a construction order that proves the CIA wanted a cage for terror suspects built at a secret ‘black site’ prison inside Poland.
Senator Jozef Pinior claims Krakow prosecutors have a document that shows a local contractor was asked to build a cage at Stare Kiekuty, a Polish army based used as a CIA prison for al Qaeda terror suspects in 2002 and 2003.
“In a state with rights,” Pinior told the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza, “people in prison are not kept in cages.” He said a cage was “non-standard equipment” for a prison, but standard “if torture was used there.”
Asked if he was sure the cage was for humans, he said, “What was it for? Exotic birds?” He said he has not seen the construction order, but that the Krakow prosecutor’s office, which is investigating the prison, has a copy of it.
This week Gazeta Wyborcza reported that the prosecutor’s office also allegedly has a signed order from Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, the then-head of Polish intelligence, authorizing the creation of the black site. A source told the paper that the agreement has a space intended for an American signature, but that the Americans did not sign the document “because they do not want to sign documents inconsistent with their own Constitution and international law.”
Siemiatkowski did not confirm or deny the existence of the agreement, but said he could not discuss anything he might have signed because it would be classified.
Gazeta Wyborcza reported in March that Siemiatkowski had been charged with permitting the corporal punishment of prisoners of war. Siematkowski has acknowledged publicly that he is under investigation.
Alexander Kwasniewski and Leszek Miller, who were president and prime minister at the time it was allegedly used as a CIA prison, have denied the existence of the Stare Kiekuty black site. Sen. Pinior said he presented his evidence “with regret, because I always valued [Kwasniewski’s] presidency.”
Several terror suspects, including Abu Zubaydah, have said they were tortured at the Polish site prior to their relocation to Guantanamo. One suspect claims a gun and a power drill were pointed at his head during his interrogation.
After Poland launched its official investigation of the Stare Kiekuty site, President Bronislaw Komorowski said the probe was needed because “the reputation of Poland is at stake.”
ABC News previously revealed the location of another CIA prison at a former riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2006, President Bush acknowledged that the U.S. had used “black site” prisons in foreign countries, and said many of the suspects who had been detained there were then moved to Guantanamo Bay. While denying that the U.S. employed torture, he said that the U.S. had used an “alternative set of procedures” to interrogate prisoners.
The CIA declined to comment to ABC News on the reported black site in Poland or on Senator Pinior’s allegations about a cage.