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BRUSSELS, Belgium - The head of a European investigation into alleged CIA prisons in Europe said Tuesday the purported Egyptian government document naming countries where such prisons existed is a new lead which must be followed up.
But Dick Marty, a Swiss senator leading the probe on behalf of the Council of Europe, said it was still not clear that the document — a fax reportedly sent by satellite transmission from Egypt's Foreign Ministry to its embassy in London — was genuine.
The document's existence was reported Sunday by the Swiss weekly SonnstagsBlick. The fax, intercepted Nov. 15 by Swiss intelligence, reportedly said Egypt had confirmed through its own sources that the U.S. intelligence agency had held 23 terror suspects from Iraq and Afghanistan at a military base in Romania.
It also said there were similar U.S. detention centers in Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria, according to the Swiss newspaper, which printed a copy of a Swiss summary of the fax.
In Bern, The Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday opened an investigation into the leak.
The Federal Prosecutor's Office is investigating a possible breach of official secrets by the editor of SonntagsBlick as well as two journalists at the newspaper, Prosecutor's spokesman Hansjuerg Mark Wiedmer told The Associated Press.
Publishing a secret document can be a violation of Swiss law punishable by a fine or imprisonment. Switzerland's Defense Ministry has already launched an investigation into the leak.