Scottish prosecutors have been asked to make “immediate” contact with Joe Biden’s office to try to uncover the truth about the CIA’s “torture flights”.
Aberdeen Central SNP MSP Kevin Stewart has written to Lord Advocate James Wolffe following Donald Trump’s defeat in the US presidential election.
Mr Biden’s victory quickly led to renewed hopes that Scots might finally discover if their airports were used to illegally transfer terror suspects to interrogation sites.
The “extraordinary rendition” of detainees was carried out by the US during the War on Terror that followed the September 11 attacks in 2001.
In 2013 British academics Ruth Blakeley and Sam Raphael, directors of the Rendition Project, found “conclusive” proof that five CIA planes linked to rendition had landed at both Inverness and Wick, with a further three at Aberdeen International Airport.
Suspicious flights were also connected to other Scottish airports, and police in Scotland launched an investigation after The P&J revealed the finding.
However, a request by detectives for an unredacted copy of a vital US Senate committee report on CIA torture was denied by the American authorities.
Request to Crown Office
A police dossier was sent to the Crown Office for consideration last year, but Mr Wolffe previously suggested the case would remain open until appropriate evidence had been obtained from the US.
Mr Stewart has now urged the Crown Office to ask the US authorities again for the report, and suggested they consider making contact before Mr Biden is officially installed as the 46th president.
In correspondence to Mr Wolffe, he wrote: “Given the change of administration in the United States, I would be grateful if you could seek to make contact with the new administration when it takes office and ask for an unredacted copy of the Senate torture report.
“Indeed, it may be worthwhile contacting the office of the president-elect on this matter in the immediate term.”
Asked about the move, Mr Stewart said: “With a change of administration in the White House we have an opportunity to get to the bottom of this matter once and for all if President-elect Biden agrees to publish the uncensored report.
“People in Aberdeen and across Scotland need to know whether our airports were illegally used by aircraft carrying out extraordinary rendition – we cannot give up the fight for the truth and Joe Biden’s election will hopefully provide new hope in that quest.”
‘This information is being considered’
A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “Information has been received from Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit regarding extraordinary rendition flights.
“This information is being considered by the Crown’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.
“As this is a live investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”