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Lithuanian parliamentary committee chair to testify in suspected terrorist's trial

Eglės Kusaitės byla
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Eglė Kusaitė
Šaltinis: BNS
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A Vilnius court has summoned the chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, Arvydas Anušauskas, to testify in the case of a suspected terrorist, Eglė Kusaitė.

He is scheduled to be questioned on 16 April.

Kusaitė had requested to have Anušauskas questioned. During a hearing on Friday, she said that Anušauskas was quoted in a recent article. "He told journalist that the parliamentary committee, exercising control of the State Security Department, also asked for a check-up of circumstances in my case, and that information about violations was handed over to the Prosecutor General's Office to be used as evidence in the criminal case. But my defense has never got access to that information. I therefore ask the court to order prosecutors to provide information by the Committee on National Security and Defense or summon chairman of the Committee Anušauskas to testify," Kusaitė said.

The court refused to give access to the State Security Department's internal investigation information, as it is classified. The internal investigation focused on officers' actions during the pre-trial investigation into Kusaitė's actions.

Kusaitė was detained in October 2009 on charges of setting up an organized group for a terrorist attack and planning to detonate herself in a strategic object in Chechnya. Kusaitė maintains that it was agents of the Lithuanian State Security Department that attempted to draw her into terrorism.

After more than nine months of detention, she is currently free on a written pledge not to leave the country.

Kusaitė asked the court to give her passport back as she said she wanted to declare her residence in Vilnius, to live here and to look for a job. The court rejected her request. Prosecutors objected to the return of the passport as it contains a Russian visa.

Kusaitė's accomplices, Apti and Aishat Magmadovs, were sentenced last December to six and two years in prison, respectively.

According to data available to Lithuanian prosecutors, Kusaitė had made contacts with Islamic groups and was preparing for a terrorist attack in Chechnya, a republic in North Caucasus striving for independence from Russia. Russian prosecutors say Magmadov and his sister Aishat used a mobile phone and Internet to persuade Kusaitė into joining the gang and detonate herself in a public place in Russia. According to Russian prosecutors, Magmadov entered the armed gang Imarat Kavkaz operating in Chechnya in 2009.

According to the data, the gang leaders allegedly authorized Magmadov to select Islamic women and ideologically prepare them for a terrorist attack.

Some human rights defenders and politicians have raised questions about the role of the Russian Federal Security Service in the case. The prosecutors have categorically rejected the accusations.

"I am being persecuted by the security and prosecution. My family and I are being destroyed financially, I have been persecuted since my teen years," Kusaitė told the court. She asked the court to drop the case.

BNS
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