Danish opposition demands answers on overflight leaks

The cables said Danish govt urged US to ignore questions about CIA flights.

Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 14:44 PM IST

Copenhagen: Denmark`s opposition has summoned officials to Parliament to respond to WikiLeaks cables saying the government had urged Washington to ignore its own questions about rendition flights.

Niels Helveg Petersen, a spokesman for the Danish Social Liberal Party, said on Monday government leaders needed to explain the leaked diplomatic cables involving CIA flights over Danish airspace.

"We have summoned the Prime Minister and the foreign minister because we want to shed every light on this embarrassing scandal," Petersen said.

According to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and published on Sunday in the Danish newspaper Politiken, former Danish foreign minister Per Stig Moeller had asked Washington not to answer questions on the overflights.

In 2008, he promised Parliament he would get answers from the United States on this question.

"If the government provided false information on this issue to parliament, it will be very serious," Peterson said, adding that the two officials were expected to appear before Parliament by the end of the week.

According to the leaked cables, two high-ranking Danish officials told former US ambassador to Denmark James Cain that the Danish government was not demanding an answer from Washington on the issue.

Allegations that the flights had taken place emerged in a January 2008 documentary, "The CIA`s Danish Connections".

It said the US spy agency had flown planes registered with fake corporations over Danish airspace to transport terrorism suspects to Egypt, Jordan, Romania and Afghanistan, among other countries.

Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has said he would not comment on information based on WikiLeaks documents.

A Danish commission of inquiry concluded in October 2008 that it could not say if the US had used the air space of Denmark and its overseas territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, for planes transporting terror suspects.

The secret flights were used in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to transfer "war on terror" suspects to third countries for interrogation, where many said they were imprisoned and tortured.

Bureau Report