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Guantanamo inmate requests victim status in Poland

A Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor on April 27, 2009
A Guantanamo detainee's feet are shackled to the floor on April 27, 2009. A third inmate of the famed prison, who says he was tortured in a secret CIA jail in Poland, has requested the formal status of victim in the European nation, one of several accused

A third inmate of the Guantanamo Bay prison, who says he was tortured in a secret CIA jail in Poland, has requested the formal status of victim in the European nation, one of several accused of hosting the US "black sites", his lawyer said Wednesday.

Yemen citizen Walida Mohammad bin Attash said he was tortured in 2003 in a secret CIA prison in Kiejkuty, a village in northeastern Poland, lawyer Mariusz Paplaczyk told journalists.

He said he had presented the demand for victim status to prosecutors in Krakow who are charged with investigating the presence of the covert jail.

Polish officials have repeatedly denied authorising any so-called US Central Intelligence Agency "black sites". However in March 2012 former Polish spy chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski said he had been charged in connection with the probe.

Two other Guantanamo inmates, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah -- considered a deputy to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, killed in May 2011 by covert US forces -- have been granted official victim status by Polish prosecutors.

The Council of Europe insists detainees were held in Poland in secret, solitary confinement and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" that included such torture techniques as waterboarding, or simulated drowning.

The rights and democracy body has also said the Polish site held several so-called "high-value detainees" and claimed that other secret prisons were set up in Romania and Lithuania.

In August 2008 Polish prosecutors launched a probe into accusations that Warsaw had allowed the CIA to operate a prison from 2002-2003 in the northeastern village of Kiejkuty to question suspects in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Among those thought to have been held in Poland is self-proclaimed 9/11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and faces trial at a US military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba.

A study by the Open Society Foundation released in February said 54 governments assisted the CIA in a global campaign that included harsh interrogations of suspects, allowing airspace for secret flights or providing intelligence.

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