Published January 14, 2015
Lithuanian lawmakers on Wednesday demanded an investigation into allegations that the CIA established a prison for Al Qaeda suspects in the Baltic country.
The Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee said it wants the full 141-member assembly to approve the probe next week.
Lithuanian leaders have denied that the former Soviet republic — a close U.S. ally in the war on terror — hosted clandestine detention centers. Poland and Romania have denied similar allegations.
The call for an investigation came a day after President Dalia Grybauskaite said she had "indirect suspicions" about a secret CIA prison in Lithuania.
Defense committee chairman Arvydas Anusauskas said the investigation was necessary and that the committee wanted to question "certain persons" about the existence of a possible CIA prison. He did not specify who he had in mind.
An ABC News report in August said the CIA had a secret prison in Vilnius from September 2004 through November 2005, and used it to detain and interrogate Al Qaeda prisoners captured around the world after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Former President Valdas Adamkus and former Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, who were both in office at the time the center was supposedly built, rejected the report.
But after a meeting Tuesday with a top European human rights official, President Grybauskaite said the allegations of a CIA prison should be taken seriously because they put Lithuania's reputation at stake.
"I have indirect suspicions — and not only me, but the entire international community," she said. "If there was such a thing, Lithuania should come clean, take responsibility, and promise that it will never happen again."
She said both Lithuania and the United States "must provide answers to these questions."
In a 2007 probe conducted on behalf of the Council of Europe, Swiss senator Dick Marty accused 14 European governments of permitting the CIA to run detention centers or conduct rendition flights through their countries between 2002 and 2005.