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BRUSSELS - A European parliamentarian probing suspected secret CIA prisons denounced Thursday US President George W. Bush and members of his administration as liars.

"I am stunned that he lied to us for months. Mrs (US Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice lied to the European Council," Italian socialist deputy Claudio Fava told other members of the investigating commission.

"We have to find out where these prisons were. We have to go beyond the American administration's wall of lies," he said.

Bush admitted last week for the first time that the US Central Intelligence Agency covertly held prisoners in overseas camps, reports of which had been publicly denied by many of the countries involved.

The US president also defended the interrogation tactics used by the CIA.

The lawmaker leading the probe, Portuguese deputy Carlo Coelho, said that Bush's remarks "signify that we were right to set up this investigating commission".

German Socialist Wolfgang Kreissl-Doerfer called on European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels on Friday, to say clearly whether such prisons exist on European soil.

"I'm sure that the members of the council (of EU ministers) know much more than they want to say," he said.

09/14/2006 16:50 GMT

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