VILNIUS — Lithuania hosted two CIA prisons, dating back to as early as 2002, a parliamentary panel concluded in a report issued on Tuesday.
The landmark report conclusively links Lithuania to the CIA after months of speculation. Specifically, the report concludes that upper administrators in the VSD, Lithuania’s State Security Department, were responsible for implementing the prisons even though it was politically and popularly toxic.
Although the probe says that the prisons were built — the first one was made specifically to house a single, unnamed person in 2002 — it does not determine whether or not they were ever used. Five planes linked to the CIA landed in Vilnius airport from 2002 to 2006, although the report says that inspectors were prevented from searching through cargo or personnel.
However, despite the lack of conclusive evidence about the use of the prison, VSD officials were told to leave certain rooms at certain times when foreign officers were using them.
The probe, which was commissioned by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, has not been welcomed politically.
“It only proves suspicions [the president] had for some time that there were premises designed for detention and there were flights which could have been used for transporting prisoners,” Linas Balsys, spokesman for the president, told Baltic Reports.
The committee, which was lead by MP Arvydas Anušauskas, concludes that three high-ranking VSD officials, Dainius Dabašinskas, Mečys Laurinkus, and Arvydas Pocius, were aware of the covert plans. Laurinkus was recently stripped of his ambassadorship to Georgia in a move that was widely interpreted as having a connection to the CIA prison probe.
The report recommends that the Seimas commissions a prosecutor to investigate charges against them. Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė echoed that recommendation, and Balsys said that the president “will welcome that.”