The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a pre-trial investigation into allegations that a Saudi Guantánamo detainee, Mustafa al-Hawsawi was held at a secret CIA detention facility in the country between 2004-2006, according to reports in the Miami Herald and the Baltic News Service. Pre-trial proceedings are ongoing in al-Hawsawi’s case before the military commission at Guantánamo Bay.
The decision of the Prosecutor General’s Office follows the ruling of the Vilnius Regional Court (full text) last month, which annulled the previous decision of the Office to refuse to investigate the detention and rendition claims. The court held that “the refusal to open the pre-trial investigation was made hastily and without due consideration of all the significant circumstances.” In particular:
“the prosecutor did not fulfil his duty arising from Article 13 of the [European Convention on Human Rights] [right to an effective remedy] as he did not carry out a thorough and effective investigation or ensure a practical access for the complainant to the investigatory procedure, as he was required to do due to suspicions of violations of the rights under the Convention.”
The decision to open an investigation into al-Hawsawi’s case comes amid growing international pressure to hold U.S. partner states accountable for their role in implementing the CIA’s extraordinary rendition and detention program. For related developments, see Just Security’s coverage of the ongoing litigation before the European Court of Human Rights [here] and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights [here], in relation to the alleged involvement of the governments of Poland and Djibouti respectively.