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Poland To Pay $262,000 In Reparations To Inmates Held At Secret CIA Prison

AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski

Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna made the statement after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, rejected Poland's appeal of its earlier ruling.

"We will abide by this ruling because we are a law-abiding country," Schetyna told Polish Radio 3. "It is a question of the coming weeks, a month."

But he questioned how the money would be used and whether it needed to be paid directly to the suspects, who are imprisoned in Guantanamo.

The European court ruled in July that Poland violated the rights of terror suspects Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah by allowing the CIA to imprison them and by failing to stop the "torture and inhuman or degrading treatment" of the inmates. The court ordered Warsaw to pay 130,000 euros ($148,000) to Zubaydah, a Palestinian terror suspect, and 100,000 euros ($114,000) to al-Nashiri, a Saudi national charged with orchestrating the attack in 2000 on the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S.

Poland appealed the ruling, saying it could influence its own investigation of the case.

The July ruling was the first that any court has passed on the so-called "renditions program" that U.S. President George W. Bush launched after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Since 2008, Polish prosecutors have been investigating whether Poland hosted a secret CIA prison, in violation of its laws. They have charged one person, whose identity they did not reveal. Two former leaders, former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller, only recently admitted they had allowed the secret CIA prison to operate in Poland, but said they never authorized harsh treatment of inmates and had no oversight of the facility.

The European court's ruling is expected to speed up Poland's investigation, which is mostly classified.

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