Author Topic: Rendition is not new: Powell  (Read 57 times)

Kal EL

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Rendition is not new: Powell
« on: December 19, 2005, 09:22:50 AM »
LONDON (Reuters) - Rendition, the controversial practice of moving terrorism suspects from one country to another, is not new and European governments should not be surprised by it, Colin Powell said on Saturday.

The former U.S. Secretary of State was speaking to the BBC after his successor, Condoleezza Rice was forced to defend the practice during a recent trip to Europe.

The trip was overshadowed by allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency ran secret prisons in eastern Europe and covertly transferred suspects via European airports.

"Most of our European friends cannot be shocked that this kind of thing takes place," Powell told BBC World.

"The fact that we have, over the years, had procedures in place that would deal with people who are responsible for terrorist activities, or suspected of terrorist activities.

"And so the thing that is called rendition is not something that is new or unknown to my European friends."

Rice also said rendition was a decades-old instrument used by the United States when local governments could not detain or prosecute a suspect, and traditional extradition was not an option.

In such cases, that government could make a sovereign choice to cooperate in a rendition, she said.

Powell also defended the U.S. against charges that it was unilateralist, but acknowledged it did not have a good image around the world at the moment and was going through a period where "public opinion world-wide is against us".

"I think that's a function of some of the policies we have followed in recent years with respect to Iraq and in not solving the Middle East's problem and perhaps the way in which we have communicated our views to the rest of the world," he said.

"We have created an impression that we are unilateralist, we don't care what the rest of the world thinks.

"I don't think it's a fair impression."