Scotland’s Justice Secretary has asked ministers at Westminster to help unlock a seven-year investigation into the use of Scottish airports by alleged CIA rendition flights.
Humza Yousaf has written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to help obtain information from the US after senators failed to provide Scottish police with a full report into the flights.
Crown Office officials last week said detectives are still probing the flights, despite police saying their investigation was complete more than a year ago.
An investigation was ordered in 2013 by then Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, after evidence emerged 13 planes had touched down at airports including Glasgow, Prestwick, Aberdeen, Inverness and Wick.
The US Senate issued a partially classified 500-page report on the CIA detention and interrogation programme in 2014. Police Scotland asked the following year to see the full 6,000-page report, which would reveal dates, locations and other details removed from the 500-page version. Detectives never received it.
Cross-party MSPs wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in February urging her to obtain the report. The Scottish Government said: “The Justice Secretary wrote to the Foreign Secretary seeking the UK Government’s support in obtaining the Senate report last month and we await a response.”
The Sunday Post understands the Foreign Office has received Mr Yousaf’s letter and a response will be sent “in due course”.
Labour MSP Pauline McNeill said: “It’s disappointing we have been waiting for this information from the US Senate for some time. Given that, Police Scotland and the Crown Office should attempt to arrive at some conclusions based on the information we do have.”
Police Scotland last week said they have looked into all available evidence and sent their findings to the Crown Office. But when asked by an MSP for an update last month, Scotland’s Solicitor General, Alison Di Rollo, said the police investigation remains “ongoing”.
In a letter to Scottish Green’s justice spokesman, John Finnie MSP, who had requested Lord Advocate James Wolffe address parliament on the case, Ms Di Rollo stated: “I am writing on his behalf to advise that the complex investigation into these claims which is being undertaken by Police Scotland, under the Lord Advocate’s direction, remains ongoing.”
Mr Finnie said yesterday: “It is seven years since police were instructed to investigate whether airports were used to conduct horrific human rights abuses and it isn’t clear where the inquiry has got to.”
Ordering the probe in 2013, Mr Mulholland said: “It is very important that there should be no dilly-dallying in this matter. The use of torture cannot be condoned. It is against international law and contrary to the common law of Scotland.”
Police Scotland said: “Specialist officers have analysed all the information made available to them and have submitted a report which is being considered by the Crown Office.”
The Crown Office said: “Information has been received from Police Scotland regarding rendition flights. As this is a live investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
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