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Canada's Mounties have been quietly running an investigation into US and Syrian officials linked to the arrest and deportation of a Canadian citizen who was tortured in a Syrian prison, and could lay criminal charges in the matter, sources report.
The news comes the same day that the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal brought by Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian engineer who was detained at New York's JFK Airport in 2002 on suspicion of terrorist links and flown to Syria, where he was tortured for the better part of a year.
A long and expensive inquiry into the matter held by
• "Rendition" is bureaucratese for the CIA's practice of kidnapping terrorist suspects and sending them to secret detention centres out of the public eye and reach of the US justice system.
• It was authorised under President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s to counter the threat of Islamist terrorism and overcome CIA difficulties in obtaining a conviction against suspects.
• It was expanded hugely under President George W Bush, who gave the CIA sweeping new powers after the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
• Since then the staff of the Counter-Terrorist Centre, the CIA branch which oversees renditions, is reported to have quadrupled to more than 1,000 people.
• More than 100 more people have disappeared or been "rendered" in the last few years, in addition to the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay.
• The most common destinations are Egypt and Jordan, which are known to have tortured prisoners.
The US insists that it does not send people to countries which employ torture.