US company sued over CIA flights

Rights group says Boeing subsidiary provided flight services for rendition programme.

    Washington has acknowledged transferring suspects but denies they are tortured [File: GALLO/GETTY] 
    Steven Watt, an attorney for the ACLU, told Al Jazeera: "[Jeppesen Dataplan] ensured that flights got from point A to point B and at the end of those flights torture was awaiting the suspects that were on those planes.

    "They knowingly participated in the extraordinary rendition programme, they knew what its aims were, they knew terrorist suspects were going to be flown to countries where there was substantial likelihood of torture."

    Support services
    According to the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the US district court in California, Jeppesen provided flight and logistical support to at least 15 aircraft that have made a total of 70 rendition flights since December 2001.

    "We don't
    need to
    know specific details ... 
    It's not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip"

    Mike Pound,
    Jeppesen Dataplan spokesman

    Mike Pound, a spokesman for Jeppesen, said company officials had not yet seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

    He said Jeppesen provides support services, rather than the flights themselves, for airlines, private pilots and companies.

    "We don't know the purpose of the trip for which we do a flight plan," Pound said.

    "We don't need to know specific details. It's the customer's business, and we do the business that we are contracted for. It's not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip."
    Boeing itself is not named in the lawsuit.

    Torture claims

    The rights organisation said Mohamed was subjected to two incidents of rendition. In July 2002, he was allegedly flown to Morocco where he was detained for 18 months and tortured by Moroccan intelligence services.

    Then, in January 2004, Mohamed was again blindfolded, stripped, and shackled by CIA agents and flown to a secret US detention facility known as the "Dark Prison" in Kabul. He was later transferred to another facility and then to Guantanamo Bay.

    Britel was taken from Pakistan to Morocco in May 2002, where he was tortured by Moroccan intelligence agents and remains imprisoned, the ACLU said.

    Agiza has allegedly been in jail in Egypt since December 2001 when he was chained, shackled, and drugged by the CIA for a flight from Sweden.

    The ACLU also represented Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who was taken by the CIA from Macedonia to Afghanistan, in a lawsuit against the US government which was dismissed when the "state secrets" privilege was invoked.

    Washington has acknowledged the secret transfer of suspects to third countries, but has denied that it tortured them or handed them to countries that did.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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