DELFI offices evacuated due to threatening letter

Evakuacija DELFI redakcijoje

Emergency services have been informed about the delivery. The office in Vilnius where the letter was opened has been isolated, the entire staff evacuated.

The letter, addressed to editor-in-chief of DELFI Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, contains a threat that “it will soon be like in Paris” and a hand-drawn picture of a coffin.

The alleged sender given on the envelope is the president’s former adviser Daiva Ulbinaitė.

According to the police, the seriousness of danger is not yet clear, so it was decided to evacuate the offices as a precaution until officials of the Public Health Centre arrive to carry out further inspection.

DELFI is the biggest online news sourse in Lithuania and has previously been targeted by hacker attacks, most likely due to its strong stance critical of Russia’s foreign policies.

Ulbinaitė shocked

Former presidential adviser Ulbinaitė said she was shocked by the news of the threats against DELFI and the fact that they used her name.

“How can one make pranks about such things? This is reprehensible and unjustifiable,” she said, adding she had no idea why her name was used by the author of the letter.

Paulauskas: It is not funny

MP Artūras Paulauskas, chairman of the parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee, commented that he hoped the letter was just a mean prank.

“Perhaps someone is making a really bad joke. But we should take it seriously. Every joke contains something real,” Paulauskas commented after he was informed about the incident.

“One cannot take such pranks lightly. There are all kinds of unstable people who become more active after incidents like the recent events [in France]. This is one possibility. But it might be more serious. The media are a target right now… DELFI is the most visible [media outlet in Lithuania] – naturally, it was chosen as the target,” Palauskas said.

Quarantined until Friday

Initial inspection by rescue services has not found any hazardous substances in the letter.

“The envelope was tightly sealed. We took two samples and handed them over to the Public Health Centre, while we carried out primary inspection. We could check for traces of mercury in the air, which we did not find, radiation does not exceed normal levels. We did not find any aggressive chemicals,” said Captain Vadimas Ignatavičius of Vilnius County Fire and Rescue Board who is working on the site.

However, DELFI offices will remain sealed until Friday morning, pending more accurate results from laboratory.

“We cannot do any more measurements. These will be handled by the Public Health Centre’s laboratory. They will give definite results. There is little chance that the results will come before tomorrow. The premises are put under quarantine by order of the Public Health Centre,” he said.

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