November 14, 2005, New York Times
By STEPHEN GREY and RENWICK McLEAN
LONDON, Nov. 11 – On the Spanish island of Majorca, the police quietly opened a criminal investigation in March after a local newspaper reported a series of visits to the island’s international airport by planes known to regularly operate for the Central Intelligence Agency. Now, it has emerged that an investigative judge in Palma has ordered the police inquiry to be sent to Spain’s national court, to consider whether the C.I.A. was routing planes carrying terrorism suspects through Majorca as part of its so-called rendition program. Under that system, the United States has bypassed normal extradition procedures to secretly transfer at least 100 suspects to third countries where, according to allegations by human rights groups and former detainees themselves, some of the suspects have been tortured. The program is the focus of a number of European investigations. Spain is the third country in Europe to open a judicial inquiry into potential criminal offenses committed by C.I.A. operatives related to renditions. The other two are Germany and Italy. Last week, related investigations were started by the European Union and the Council of Europe to look into reports of secret C.I.A. jails for terrorism suspects in Eastern Europe.