Denmark to query US about secret CIA flights

COPENHAGEN : Denmark will demand answers from the United States for the “unacceptable” use of a Danish airport in Greenland for secret CIA flights, the country’s foreign minister said on TV Wednesday.

According to a documentary called “The CIA’s Danish Connections”, the US agency secretly used Danish airspace and airports as transit for its airplanes.

Planes flying for fake corporations are suspected of transporting illegally-kidnapped terrorist suspects to Egypt, Jordan, Romania and Afghanistan, among other countries.

“There is evidence in this film which I had not seen before which shows that the Americans are using private airplanes as government airplanes,” Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told DR1 TV, the channel that broadcast the documentary.

“It is clear that that is unacceptable, and we are going to talk to the Americans about this,” he said.

“We can say to the Americans that they have made commitments (to respect international aviation conventions) which they are not apparently keeping. And we would dearly like explanations on this point.

“Neither Danish airspace nor the airspace of Greenland can be used in violation of these conventions,” he added.

Greenland is an offshore Danish territory.

Lars Emil Johansen, one of Greenland’s two representatives in the Danish parliament, demanded an in-depth investigation, saying he did not have confidence in the Danish government – a long-time ally of the United States – to shed any light on the affair.

Last year the centrist and leftwing parties in parliament demanded an independent inquiry into the CIA’s use of Danish airspace – but the liberal-conservative government and its far-right ally, the Danish People’s Party, refused the request.

Figures from the civil aviation authority in Greenland show that a third of 35 private planes operated on a CIA account and suspected of being involved in illegal rendition flights, landed at the Narsarsuaq airport in southern Greenland.

Between the end of 2001 and 2005 the CIA-operated planes carried out more than a thousand flights involving European airports, most of them logistical, but in the absence of any proper European control the only provisional figures come from an account published by the European Parliament rapporteur Claudio Fava last year. – AFP/ch