It’s interesting that this has taken on the status of accepted fact — while, as far as I can tell, no European government has officially confirmed it. On the one hand I’m pleased that the media has the courage to report government actions without a press release. On the other, I’m a little nervous about how much this seems down to co-ordinated briefing by American officials. True it may be, but it’s apparently a truth only reported when it suits the powerful.
At the very least I’d hope that European journalists would browbeat officials into either confirming or denying the American (and British) official claims of ransom payments.
ETA: This New York Times article on the topic is pretty impressive, though, and obviously based on a lot of research.