A successful international cooperation

Swedish Fredrik Laurin and Americans Margot Williams and Stephen Grey told how they investigated CIA rendition planes.

Hilde Marie Tvedten, 12.09.2008 18:56

INVESTIGATED TOGETHER: Stephen Grey (right) presents how he worked on the story of the CIA ghost planes by tracking flights of different planes, as Fredrik Laurin and Margot Williams listen.

The three reporters worked for different newspapers, but worked together on a story of international importance. The three of them investigated different aspects of renditions of prisoners from western countries to countries such as Egypt and Pakistan.

As a coincidence, Fredrik Laurin, who worked for Swedish television’s Kalla Fakta, and Stephen Grey in the Sunday Times published stories on the subject on the same day. They established contact, and later Grey also started working with Margot Williams in the New York Times.
- I want to say that it has been very important not only to cooperate internationally, but just be working together as a group. This would not have been if it hadn’t been for this cooperation, Fredrik Laurin started the lecture with telling.
Kalla Fakta showed a documentary on what they found to be a rendition plane, which had abducted two imprisoned men from Sweden to Egypt, where they could be subjected to torture. The details about the plane helped Stephen Grey in his investigation, at this time concerning both the transportation of people and different US prisons around the world.
- I knew what I was going to cover, but I did not know how to begin. It took a long time to get to the bottom of this, Stephen Grey said about the investigation.
Together with Margot Williams he tried to find out more about the planes that CIA used for rendition. The team used a lot of databases and sources that are open, and combined it with their private sources to find out as much as possible about the planes. Like this, they were able to find out about the companies which leased the planes to CIA, constructed identities behind them, and which planes were used by CIA to abduct people.
- A CIA source tells me that these stories cost them a billion dollars, Stephen Grey laughed.