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Merkel criticizes Washington over secret prisons


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Berlin (dpa) - Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Washington on Saturday for keeping terrorism suspects in secret prisons outside the reach of US law.

"The use of such prisons is not compatible with my idea of the rule of law," she said in Berlin.

US President George Bush this week conceded that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been keeping suspects at such sites.

"Even in the fight against terrorism, with its unprecedented challenge to our free societies, the end does not justify the means," the German leader said.

"We have to find appropriate responses to oppose the terrorists without undermining our fundamental principles and values."

She said she welcomed Bush putting the issue on the agenda with the statement.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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