BRUSSELS, Belgium - Britain, Poland, Germany, Italy, and other EU nations knew about secret CIA flights over Europe and the abduction of terrorism suspects by U.S. operatives, according to a report approved yesterday by a special committee of the European Parliament.
The report, the conclusion of a yearlong investigation into CIA activities in Europe, also accused EU foreign-policy chief Javier Solana and other high-ranking officials of failing to fully cooperate with the probe. It also called for unspecified sanctions against member states found to have violated EU human-rights principles.
But, in a crucial amendment pushed through by conservatives who opposed the document, the report said there was no evidence that CIA secret prisons were based in Poland, an allegation that prompted the investigation in November 2005.
The report, drafted by Italian Socialist Giovanni Fava, was backed by Socialists and Liberals; center-right deputies rejected it as ideological, biased and inaccurate.
It was also criticized by some of the 13 EU nations implicated, including Germany and Ireland.
"Instead of highlighting ways in which extraordinary rendition could be prevented in the future, the report indulges in political point-scoring," Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said.
The committee said that while thin on proof, the information came from secret documents and confidential sources, including records of meetings involving EU, NATO, and senior U.S. State Department officials and dozens of hours of testimony by individuals who said they were kidnapped by U.S. agents in Europe and transferred to secret prisons.
It also obtained information from Eurocontrol, the EU's air safety agency, according to which more than 1,200 undeclared CIA flights had entered European airspace since the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We have uncovered serious breaches of human rights," said Wolfgang Kreissl-Doerfler, a Socialist member of the committee. "We recognize the need to combat terrorism, but this can only be done using legal methods."
Members of the European People's Party, the largest political group in the European Parliament, said too much of the report was based on hearsay.