REPORT: Two CIA Black Site Prisons in Lithuania

Lithuania confirms ABC News report of terror prison, and reveals a second.

ByABC News
December 22, 2009, 11:45 AM

Dec. 22, 2009 — -- The Lithuanian government has concluded that the CIA operated a secret "black site" in Lithuania for high-level Al Qaeda detainees, and that a second secret CIA facility was established in the heart of the capital city of Vilnius. The government began an investigation after an exclusive ABC News report that the CIA operated a secret black site prison for terror suspects in the Baltic country in 2004 and 2005.

In a report released Tuesday, the National Security Committee of the Lithuanian parliament recommended that intelligence officials be criminally investigated for their role in establishing the prisons. In addition to the prison outside Vilnius that was located and revealed by ABC News, the report says that Lithuanian intelligence made a guesthouse in downtown Vilnius available for CIA use as early as 2002, though they could not prove that it had been used.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius criticized the U.S. government for establishing the prisons, saying it had manipulated Lithuanian officials with "essentially Soviet methods" into breaking the law. However, he suggested that the second prison, which could only hold one prisoner in a single cell, had never been used.

Arvydas Anusauskas, head of the parliamentary investigating committee, said he did not have enough evidence to prove that the guesthouse had been used, but could not rule out the possibility.

In November, an exclusive ABC News report revealed that the CIA had built one of its secret "black site" prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania. Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time.

"The activities in that prison were illegal," said human rights researcher John Sifton. "They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions."