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Lost rendition files 'smack of cover-up'

LEGAL action charity Reprieve said yesterday the Foreign Office’s excuse for losing records of US rendition flights passing through the British territory of Diego Garcia “smacked of a cover-up.”

The then foreign secretary Jack Straw told MPs in 2006 there was no evidence the US had used any British overseas territory in the rendition of alleged terror suspects.

But two years later, the then incumbent David Miliband disclosed that the US had since admitted it had used Diego Garcia for the refuelling of rendition flights on two occasions in 2002, apparently without informing Britain.

All-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition chairman Tory MP Andrew Tyrie cornered Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds over a list of flights which passed through Diego Garcia from January 2002 to January 2009. Mr Simmonds told MPs that only “limited records” for 2002 were available due to “water damage.”

Reprieve director Cori Crider said: “The government might as well have said the dog ate its homework. This smacks of a cover-up. It now needs to come clean about how, when and where this evidence was lost.”

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