VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania’s parliament voted on Thursday to investigate allegations that the Baltic state hosted a secret CIA prison for al Qaeda suspects.
U.S. broadcaster 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, terror suspects.
“We will seek to establish whether such a prison existed in Lithuania, and whether any (CIA) prisoners were moved through the country,” Arvydas Anusauskas, the chairman of parliament’s national security and defense committee, told Reuters.
“If we show our investigation to be deep and wide ranging, I hope our conclusions can be trusted, but I don’t exclude the possibility we may fail to establish such a prison existed,” he added.
Parliament committees had already concluded in September that no evidence of a prison could be found, but President Dalia Grybauskaite insisted that a full investigation be carried out as she had suspicions the jail really did exist.
Anusauskas’ committee has to come up with conclusions by December 22 and he said it planned to summon about 40 people to testify, including two former presidents and a former prime minister.
Former President Valdas Adamkus and former Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas have denied knowing about any prison.
ABC News said a secret CIA prison operated near Vilnius airport from early 2004 to late 2005 and that CIA planes flew into Lithuania with top level al Qaeda suspects.
Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton