Lithuanian parliament urged to once again probe into CIA prison

The motion was registered in the Seimas by a group of politicians from various political groups. The commission is proposed to be constituted of 12 members of Parliament based on the principle of proportionate representation.

The Seimas was proposed to take into account the information published by the United States media regarding the CIA prisons.

The Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence had already probed into alleged CIA prison in 2010.

The initiators of the new commission note that the European Parliament encourages Lithuania to continue with its investigation if new information emerges as many questions over the issue remain unanswered.

If the Seimas agrees to establish the commission, it will have to answer 8 questions, including about what laws need changing, how to review parliamentary control of secret agencies so that similar suspicions and allegations do not repeat.

If established, the commission would have to provide findings by 3 June 2015.

Lithuania sends legal assistance request to US

Lithuania’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on Monday it had sent a legal assistance request to the US Department of Justice, asking for information about alleged secret detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists in Lithuania.

The request was sent on 19 December, Elena Martinonienė, head of the Prosecutor General’s Office’s Communication Department, told BNS on Monday, refusing to disclose the contents of the request.

Irmantas Mikelionis, chief prosecutor of the Office’s Organized Crimes and Corruption Investigation Department, said earlier prosecutors would ask the United States for the full, and not shortened, version of the recent Senate report on the CIA’s prisons operated last decade.

In early December, the US Senate published a report on the torture of suspected terrorist at secret detention centers abroad, opened after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The CIA report does not mention any specific countries where secret detention centers were situated. But human rights activists claim a center dubbed “Detention Cite Violet” was operated in Lithuania. According to the US Senate’s report, it was opened in early 2005 and closed in 2006 due to medical issues, and that Saudi Arabian citizen Mustafa al-Hawsawi, currently in detention in Guantanamo, was allegedly kept as a prisoner at this center.

The report also states that the CIA offered an undisclosed amount in million US dollars to “show appreciation” for the support of the program and an undisclosed country official probably had an incomplete notion of the facility’s real function.

Lithuanian prosecutors are now carrying out an investigation into information provided by nongovernmental organizations, stating that al-Hawsawi was kept as a prisoner in Lithuania. Prosecutors originally refused to launch a probe into this case but were later ordered to do so by a court.

It’s a second CIA-prison investigation in Lithuania. The first one was discontinued in 2011 after the then prosecutor Mindaugas Dūda said there was no sufficient evidence to claim that premises in Vilnius and near the city had been equipped for the detention of prisoners. Moreover, he added, the evidence collected during the pre-trial investigation and testimonies of witnesses proved that the premises had been used for other purposes. He refused to disclose the real purpose of the premises as it constituted as state secret.

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