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Poland investigates rendition links

WARSAW, Poland, March 28 (UPI) -- Poland treats its Constitution with respect, a human rights official said after a former intelligence officer was charged with aiding so-called renditions.

Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, former head of the Polish intelligence agency, told daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza he was charged with depriving detainees of their legal rights in rendition practices allegedly backed by the CIA.

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The CIA is accused of operating so-called black sites in Europe to allegedly use harsh interrogation techniques against suspected al-Qaida militants.

Adam Bodnar, vice president of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, told The New York Times it was important for Warsaw to respect the rule of law for both past and future grievances.

"We try to treat our Constitution seriously and try not to forget the fact that there was a manifest violation of the Polish Constitution within the country's borders," he said.

The violations allegedly occurred at the height of the so-called war on terror waged by U.S. President George W. Bush following the attacks of Sept.11, 2001.

Former Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller may face charges for his rule in the renditions, the U.S. newspaper adds.

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The U.S. Supreme Court in October 2007 refused to hear a similar rendition case by citing the "state secrets privilege."

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