Brussels: A European Parliament investigation into alleged CIA secret prisons could call top U.S. officials, including Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to testify, an official said on Thursday.

``Very senior people'' would be asked to answer the allegations of human rights violations on E.U. territory, said Sarah Ludford, vice-president of an investigation into the alleged prisons being conducted by the European Parliament. ``I don't see why we should not invite Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney,'' Ms. Ludford said.

``I'm sure they would be very welcome and they would be heard with great interest, or (U.S. Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice perhaps, why not?''

But Ms. Ludford, a British Liberal Democrat party member, acknowledged that Parliament had no legal power to subpoena them.

- AP