POLICE Scotland will seek unpublished details of an explosive US Senate report into torture.

Detectives are already at an advanced stage of an investigation into claims Scottish airports were used by CIA planes carrying terror suspects to secret prisons.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland yesterday instructed them to "consider" a damning 500-page Senate report that amounts to the first public admission that the CIA used torture as it waged its "war on terror" after the September 11 atrocities.

Loading article content

The American investigation revealed what it called "brutal" treatment of prisoners, who were hooded, shackled and had headphones taped over their ears so they could not hear. It also found the agency lied that interrogations had thwarted terror attacks in the UK.

The Senate did not, however, name jurisdictions where such abuse took place.

Now Scottish police have signalled that they will want to see anything in the full report - believed to be 10 times longer than the published summary - that mentions Scotland.

The Senate report come a decade after The Herald revealed that an aircraft linked with prisoner transfers - the so-called Guantanamo Bay Express - stopped in Prestwick.

Scottish police, eager to know more of such rendition flights, will join other EU agencies seeking full details from the US report.

Prosecutors in Poland and Lithuania - suspected to have hosted "black site" secret prisons - are also understood to be trying to obtain the full Senate report.

America's own criminal investigation into torture allegations was wound up in 2012 and looks unlikely to resume.

But campaigners believe European investigations could make life very difficult for any officials deemed responsible.

Michael Bochenek, of Amnesty International, said: "If I was one of those people, I would hesitate before making any travel arrangements."

Police Scotland has already submitted an interim report on torture flights to the Crown.

The force began its investigation last year after an academic report suggested airports in Wick, Inverness and Aberdeen, as well as Prestwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh, had been used by CIA aircraft.

If American authorities do not hand over the documents to Scottish law enforcement, it would be up to Mr Mulholland's Crown Office to request them under bilateral agreements.

A spokesman for human rights group Reprieve said: "It is vital that the Scottish Government pushes for Police Scotland to have access to the Senate torture report in full.

"The Senate's report has put the spotlight back on this dark chapter in the War on Terror - our governments, both north and south of the border, must now come clean on the part our countries played."

Nick Clegg said there may still need to a be a judicial inquiry in to allegations of British complicity with torture.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he was absolutely sure that at the present time torture "cannot, will not and is not being used under any circumstances by British agencies or indeed on our behest".

The alleged torture flights through UK and Scottish airports took place when Labour was in power at Westminster, and in coalition with Mr Clegg's Liberal Democrats in Holyrood.

The then Scottish Executive denied any knowledge of rendition flights in 2004 and 2005 when The Herald revealed that a Gulfstream V jet leased by the US Government had landed 16 times at Prestwick in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The same plane was first revealed by Swedish television as being used to ferry terror suspects to Egypt in 2004.

Our landmark report said Swedish witnesses saw hooded prisoners handed to US agents. The men were handcuffed and dressed in nappies covered with orange overalls.

The Gulfstream flew them to Egypt, where two claimed they were beaten and tortured with electric shocks to their genitals.

A decade ago human rights lawyer John Scott was quoted suggesting the US would have to amend its policy of torture without UK support.

Yesterday he said: "It seems clear that rendition flights landed in Scotland either in their way to pick up prisoners or on their way back.

"That could be part of a conspiracy to commit very serious offences such as abduction, assault and torture.

"Nationality is a not a protection for anyone if Scotland thinks they have committed a criminal offence. We could see their extradition.

"These crimes may be hard to prove but are worth investigating if only to lay down a marker that Scotland is not open to torture.

"It is a real pity it has taken a decade to investigate."