Lithuania’s spy chief resigns over secret CIA prison probe



The director of Lithuania’s intelligence service unexpectedly resigned on Monday, reportedly in connection with a parliamentary investigation into a reputed CIA secret prison site in the country. IntelNews regulars will remember that last November ABC News cited CIA officials in alleging that the Lithuanian government provided the CIA with an unmarked building located in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, with the understanding that it would be used as a so-called black site for secretly detaining high-value al-Qaeda suspects. Lithuanian government officials denied the allegation, but promised to set up a high-level probe into the matter. But the members of the parliamentary committee that was established to examine the ABC News revelations soon found themselves shunned by Lithuanian intelligence officials. According to the committee head, Arvydas Anusauskas, the parliamentarians were offered ambiguous answers or no answers at all by Lithuanian secret service agencies. Anusauskas told Lithuanian television that the lack of cooperation with the probe resulted in the resignation last Monday of Povilas Malakauskas, director of Lithuania’s State Security Department (SSD). Malakauskas, who had occupied the director’s position since 2007, gave no official reason for his resignation. But Anusauskas said the SSD chief was told last September that he would be forced to resign if he continued to refuse to cooperate with parliamentary investigators. The CIA has also refused to comment in any way about the alleged black site, which reportedly operated during 2004 and 2005. CIA spokesperson Paul Gimigliano told ABC News that “[t]his agency does not discuss publicly where detention facilities may or may not have been”, insisting that “the CIA’s terrorist interrogation program is over”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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