By Humphrey Carter
THE looming scandal over alleged CIA planes using Palma airport to move “kidnapped” terrorist suspects continued to rock Spain yesterday. Civil Aviation are launching an investigation and congress announced it will decide next week whether to call interior minister Jose Antonio Alonso and Alberto Saiz, head of the National Intelligence Centre, for questioning. Despite the Spanish government having launched a full investigation into the CIA's alleged activities at Palma airport, reports were emerging that CIA planes had also used other Spanish airports, including Tenerife, which has angered the government of the Canary Islands. Spain's defence Minister Jose Bono denied the allegations on Tuesday and yesterday United States State Department spokesman Adam Ereli brushed off a question about a Spanish government investigation, saying: “I'm not aware that we've been asked, we've been approached - on this issue, and so at this point it's a hypothetical”. When pressed by reporters, Ereli said that while he had “seen press reports, I'm not aware that there's been any official contact between the government of Spain and the government of the United States on this matter. Spain is a friend and NATO ally of the United States and our relations will be guided by those principles”. In Palma, a Guardia Civil investigation has been launched amidst new claims that the CIA-operated aircraft may have made a total of 10 stop-overs on the island during the two-year period the so-called “terror” flights were being operated. It appears that the CIA were already using Palma airport in 2003 when Saddam Hussein was flown out of Iraq to a secret location.

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