Lithuania says no evidence that terror suspect was held in secret CIA prison

Juozas Bernatonis
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The minister stated his position several hours before the start of a European Court of Human Rights hearing in the case of Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia, against Lithuania.

The 45-year-old man claims that he was held in a secret detention facility in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006 and that his treatment “amounted to torture.”

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“Prosecutors’ investigations have shown that there is no evidence that the person was in Lithuania,” Bernatonis told reporters.

According to the minister, a parliamentary inquiry and several pre-trial investigations conducted by prosecutors show that the country took active efforts to find out the truth.

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“I see no apathy. We cannot admit to what did not happen,” he said.

Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002, is currently held in a military prison at the US Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

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Abu Zubaydah is the second person whose lawyers say that their client was detained in Lithuania. Prosecutors are currently conducting a pre-trial investigation into allegations that Mustafa al-Hawsawi, a Saudi citizen, was secretly detained in the country.

Both men are charged with involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that left almost 3,000 people dead.

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Lithuania’s law-enforcement bodies say that they have not received any evidence proving that any particular individual was detained in the country and dismiss the defense lawyers’ claims as assumptions.

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