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Europeans To Probe Report Of Covert CIA Detention Centers

3 November 2005 -- The European Commission said today that it will investigate reports that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is secretly operating a detention facility in Eastern Europe.

Europe's top rights group, the Council of Europe, also said it will conduct its own probe.

"The Washington Post" reported yesterday that the CIA is running eight prisons worldwide for suspected Al-Qaeda extremists, including one in Eastern Europe.

U.S. officials have neither denied nor confirmed the report.

Meanwhile, several Eastern European countries today denied collusion in such a network.

Marius Bercaru, spokesman for the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) told a press conference in Bucharest today that the SRI has no information about such detention centers in Romania.

"The Romanian Intelligence Service does not have information that can certify the existence of such detention centers in our country," Bercaru said, according to RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service.

Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Hungary today denied hosting covert U.S. detention centers.

(RFE/RL Romania/Moldova Service with additional wire reports)