Ambassador to Georgia fired by Lithuanian President over CIA prison scandal (update)

Mečys Laurinkus
Mečys Laurinkus

President Dalia Grybauskaite has dismissed Lithuania's ambassador to Georgia.

Mecys Laurinkus, a former Lithuanian spy chief, has been recalled from Tbilisi and is to be relieved of his duties, according to information obtained by on Tuesday evening.

The President's decision to fire the ambassador is understood to be tied to an ongoing parliamentary probe into reports that Lithuania hosted a CIA prison in 2004-2005.

A presidential spokesman confirmed the dismissal of Laurinkus on Wednesday morning, the Baltic News Service reported.

Laurinkus was head of the Department of State Security, Lithuania's spy agency, in 1998-2004.


Lithuania's foreign minister Vygaudas Usackas also confirmed on Wednesday that President Grybauskaite had "lost trust" in Laurinkus.

On Friday Laurinkus revealed to the Baltic News Service that he had spoken with ex-president Rolandas Paksas in 2003 about the hypothetical possibility of bringing foreign terrorism suspects into Lithuania. Laurinkus denied any knowledge of a CIA detention facility in Lithuania.

Paksas told the parliamentary investigation that Laurinkus had approached him in 2003 about permission to bring in foreign detainees "on behalf of a foreign partner." Paksas said he did not grant Laurinkus's request.

The current head of the Department of State Security stepped down on Monday, also an apparent casualty of the CIA prison investigation.

The chair of the parliamentary investigation looking into the alleged CIA prison said Povilas Malakauskas had responded to information requests ambiguously, and suggested that the investigation could have been averted if Malakauskas had been more forthright from its outset.

President Dalia Grybauskaite accepted Malakauskas' resignation on Monday, but his departure still requires formal approval from parliament before it becomes official.