New evidence shows CIA held prisoners in Lithuania
January 16, 2015
New analysis and previously unpublished documents released by legal charity Reprieve show that the CIA held prisoners in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006, contrary to official denials.
In a dossier and briefing submitted to the Lithuanian Prosecutor today, Reprieve reveals how the newly declassified US Senate Report on CIA detention correlates with flight data and contracting documents; and demonstrates that prisoners were moved into Lithuania in February and October 2005, and out of Lithuania to Afghanistan in March 2006.
A previous investigation by Lithuanian prosecutors, shelved in 2011, concluded that the CIA built a facility in a converted stable outside Vilnius, but argued there was no evidence that prisoners were ever held in it. Reprieve’s analysis, combined with material in the declassified report, now shows that several prisoners were held in the site – called “Violet” in the Senate report – before it was closed down on 25 March 2006.
Flights through Lithuania were organised by Computer Sciences Corporation working alongside several operating companies under the auspices of a series of contracts first set up in 2002. The companies used multiple techniques to disguise their routes, and border guards were prevented from checking their cargo. Partial and incorrect routes for the planes were recorded by a Lithuanian inquiry. Reprieve determined the correct routes of the aircraft by cross-referencing a broader range of data sources and matched their dates to disclosures in the Senate report.
Reprieve investigator Crofton Black said: “The Lithuanian authorities have long hidden behind a smokescreen of increasingly implausible deniability. This new dossier shows beyond reasonable doubt that CIA prisoners were held incommunicado in Lithuania, contrary to European and domestic law. Reprieve looks forward to assisting the Lithuanian prosecutor in his further investigations.”