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2019.05.15 17:10

No political pressure on CIA prison probe in Lithuania, prosecutors say

BNS2019.05.15 17:10

Public allegations that prosecutors or politicians exerted influence or pressure on the investigation into secret CIA prisons are unfounded, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office said on Wednesday.

The Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas has in recent weeks published articles and interviews with several prosecutors about allegedly dubitable criminal cases, political influence and Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis’ activities.

Prosecutor Julius Rėksnys suggested in an interview to the daily that the investigation into the alleged CIA detention site was motivated by pressure from President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

MP Mindaugas Puidokas has queried the prosecutor general about the statements and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has called for a parliamentary enquiry.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has described the Lietuvos Rytas articles about the prosecution system as pressure on law enforcement, noting that Gedvydas Vainauskas, one of the paper's owners, is standing trial on corruption charges.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on May 31, 2018, that the CIA had operated a secret detention site for terror suspects in Lithuania in 2005-2006, ordering the country to pay €130,000 in damages to Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi Arabia-born Palestinian, over his alleged unlawful imprisonment.