Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister
Rights groups say FCO claim records of flights in and out of Diego Garcia missing due to water damage 'smacks of cover-up'
The government's problems with missing files deepened dramatically when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK's role in the CIA's global abduction operation had been destroyed accidentally when they became soaked with water.
In a statement that human rights groups said "smacked of a cover-up", the department maintained that records of post-9/11 flights in and out of Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean, were "incomplete due to water damage".
The claim comes amid media reports in the US that a Senate report due to be published later this year identifies Diego Garcia as a location where the CIA established a secret prison as part of its extraordinary rendition programme. According to one report, classified CIA documents state that the prison was established with the "full cooperation" of the UK government.
It also comes at a time when MPs are demanding the Home Office urgently provide more information about 114 "missing" files that could have contained information about an alleged child abuse network in the 1980s.