Lithuania avoids inquiry into secret CIA prison

Lithuania's parliament avoided holding an inquiry into a U.S. report that the country hosted a secret CIA prison.

Lithuania avoids inquiry into secret CIA prison

Lithuania's parliament on Thursday avoided holding an inquiry into a U.S. report that the country hosted a secret CIA prison.

ABC News reported in August that Lithuania was the third European country after Poland and Romania to have provided the Central Intelligence Agency with facilities for detaining and, possibly, interrogating suspects.

"The committees have concluded that there is no factual information, confirming at least in part the media allegations, and also, that there is no ground to conduct any new investigation," parliament's committees on security and defence and on foreign affairs said in a statement.

President Dalia Grybauskaite had claimed during a recent visit to Brussels that she had no information on any secret jail but that Lithuania would investigate.

Arvydas Anusauskas, the head of the security and defence committee, told Reuters the committee had asked ABC to provide information on the suspected illegal prison but the reporter had refused to reveal his sources.

"We can return to discussing the issue if we receive new information or new circumstances appear," Anusauskas said.

The ABC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole said in a letter to the committee both him and the ABC news stood by the report.

"Sometime beginning in 2004, through November 2005, the Central Intelligence Agency operated a secret prison on the outskirts of Vilnius, not far from the airport," Cole said in a letter to the committee. "I had four sources confirming this information, as well as sources who worked at the location."

He also said there were "clear flight plans and records that show CIA planes flew into Lithuania during the 2004-2005 time period "with "ghost" detainees."

Cole had confirmed the content of the letter in a separate email to Reuters.

The Washington Post reported for the first time in 2005, quoting unnamed CIA sources, that CIA prisons existed in Europe as part of former President George W. Bush's "war on terror" in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Eylül 2009, 14:33
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