Lithuanian PM hopes for effective CIA prison probe

Algirdas Butkevičius
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The prime minister said on Thursday he has no information about any suspected terrorists brought to Lithuania. In his words, prosecutors should carry out an investigation into all circumstances following the recent publications of the US Senate’s torture report.

“Judging from what I was told by people responsible for this area, none of them told me that a prison was here and people were kept there, tortured and brought here in violation of humanitarian or international law,” the prime minister told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday morning.

“The Prosecutor General‘s Office, I believe, should soon ask for additional information and carry out a probe,” Butkevičius said.

Lithuanian prosecutors are now carrying out an investigation into information provided by non-governmental organizations, stating that Saudi Arabian citizen Mustafa al-Hawsawi, currently in detention in Guantanamo, was kept 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 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.

The US Senate report does not mention any specific countries that hosted CIA facilities. But human rights activists claim a centre dubbed “Detention Site Violet” was operated in Lithuania. According to the US Senate’s report, it was opened in early 2005 and was closed in 2006 due to medical issues.

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

Meanwhile the then Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus says he was assured by security officials there was no secret CIA detention site in Lithuania and the premises near Vilnius were only a training centre.

You may like

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.