Republic of Lithuania’s spy chief quits after leak of CIA prison in Lithuania

The Republic of Lithuania‘s intelligence chief has resigned after news leaked out that the Central Intelligence Agency operated a secret prison in the country between 2004 and 2005.

Povilas Malakauskas, director of the Lithuanian State Security Department (Valstybės saugumo departamento), quit his job after two years in the position “partly” because of government efforts to investigate the details surrounding the CIA facility, a lawmaker told local media.

Arvydas Anušauskas, who heads a parliamentary committee investigating the prison, said much of the government probe could have been avoided if Malakauskas had simply told the truth about his department’s involvement in the CIA program.

According to Anušauskas, the resignation was first brought up in September, when the intelligence chief refused to provide information to investigators.

Malakauskas was forced to resign nearly a month after ABC News first revealed the location of the secret prison run by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Fears are that harsh interrogation techniques were used on alleged al-Qaeda terrorists at the converted horse riding facility, which is situated 20 kilometers northeast of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

Based on what a Lithuanian official and a former CIA official told ABC, the US intelligence agency had installed a hidden concrete structure at the facility, which could hold up to eight “high value detainees.”

According to New York attorney John Sifton, who leads a human rights investigation firm called One World Research, the activities taking place in that prison were definitely “illegal.”

“They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions,” he says.

News about the existence of the CIA detention center has not been welcomed by Lithuanians, as it is a reminder of the secret prisons set up by the Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) during the country’s Soviet era.

“As a Lithuanian… I am not very proud of this,” says one local woman.

Lithuanian officials have not shown happy reactions to reports that the CIA operated a secret “black-site prison” in the country either.

Several weeks before the leaks were confirmed by the government probe, Lithuania’s foreign minister said the reports were damaging to his country’s reputation.

“Obviously, this is not helping Lithuania’s image… Therefore it is vital that we conduct an investigation and clear any doubts,” Vygaudas Ušackas said in an interview with the Baltic News Service.

Apparently, during the probe, government investigators had also found that State Security had helped the CIA by coordinating the construction of the detention center and later prisoner transfers.


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