Two CIA flights 'made stopovers in France'

Two flights chartered by the CIA made stopovers in France in 2002 and 2005, French newspaper Le Figaro said today, adding to likely questions facing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she visits Europe next week.

Two flights chartered by the CIA made stopovers in France in 2002 and 2005, French newspaper Le Figaro said today, adding to likely questions facing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she visits Europe next week.

French officials said they had no knowledge of the clandestine flights via France, which were first mentioned yesterday in the New York Times and the Guardian newspaper.

Le Figaro said the first flight identified took place on March 31, 2002. The Learjet private plane stopped in the north-western town of Brest on its way from Iceland to Turkey, with a planned stop in Rome, the newspaper said.

The second flight stopped over near Paris on July 20, 2005, arriving from Norway, Le Figaro said, quoting as its source the Norwegian newspaper Ny Tid.

This plane, a Gulfstream III jet, had landed six times at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, it added.

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