Richmor Aviation is an aircraft charter company based in Hudson, NY.
Documents on file with Reprieve show that Richmor Aviation had extensive involvement in the torture, rendition and secret detention programme, in particular through a Gulfstream jet under their management, N85VM (later redesignated N227SV). Other planes operated by Richmor Aviation were also involved in the programme.
It is on record that Richmor became a part of this programme as early as June 2002, when the US government’s initial prime contractor DynCorp entered into single entity charter contract LT050602 with broker Capital Aviation to supply Richmor Aviation’s Gulfstream jet N85VM.
In the course of this contract, Richmor was subcontracted to perform numerous well documented ‘rendition to torture’ missions. Among these was the seizure of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, whose flight from Germany to Egypt on 17 February 2003 was operated by Richmor Aviation on behalf of DynCorp. In Egypt Mr Nasr was subjected to torture including the use of electric shocks, as a result of which he went partially deaf.
Richmor Aviation also operated the flight which transferred the mistakenly imprisoned German citizen Khaled el-Masri from secret detention in Afghanistan to Albania on 28 May 2004. Having belatedly concluded after months of torture and interrogation that they had imprisoned the wrong man, the CIA, acting through Computer Sciences Corporation, arranged for Richmor Aviation jet N982RK to transfer Mr el-Masri from an Afghan “black site” to a remote roadside in Albania. As he later stated, he found himself “in unfamiliar, mountainous terrain, in the dark, instructed to walk along an isolated path without looking over his shoulder. He said he feared that he was ‘about to be shot in the back and left to die,’ with nobody having any idea of how he had got there.”
Documents detailing Richmor Aviation’s involvement in renditions missions were made public by Reprieve in 2011. The company’s involvement was already public knowledge by 2005, however. In a letter of 19 Oct. 2006, Richmor president Mahlon Richards wrote: “N227SV will always be linked to renditions. No tail number change will ever erase that and our requests for government assistance in this matter have been ignored”.
Richmor Aviation, Columbia County Airport, Hudson, NY 12534, USA