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Published: 9 september 2013 09:50

Prisons Department claim conditions in Lithuanian remand centers improving

Lukiškių tardymo izoliatorius – kalėjimas
Andriaus Vaitkevičiaus / 15min nuotr. / Lukiškės prison in central Vilnius

After Ireland and Great Britain refused to extradite suspects to Lithuania due to what they said were poor prison conditions, the Lithuanian Prisons Department maintains that the situation in the country's remand centers is improving.

In an interview with BNS, representatives of the Prisons Department stated that foreigners handed over to Lithuania could be held at Kaunas Remand Center rather than Lukiškės in Vilnius.

"As the number of inmates is decreasing, the situation in all remand centers is improving," spokeswoman for the department said in a reply to BNS.

According to September 3 data, 325 inmates are held in custody in Kaunas Remand Center, which has a capacity of 336. Meanwhile, the Lukiškės center accommodated 1,007 individuals, although it only has room for 954. The capacity was also exceeded in Šiauliai Remand Center – 483 instead of 452.

"As you can see from the data provided, Kaunas Remand Center has available room and could accommodate the extradited individuals," said the department.

According to the statement, steps have been taken to move the Lukiškės prison from century-old facilities in central Vilnius to Pravieniškės. The project should be completed by 2017.

Earlier this year, Ireland and Great Britain refused to extradite individuals suspected of supporting paramilitary group the Real Irish Republican Army. Courts ruled that their imprisonment in Lithuania would run counter to the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties.

The only person standing charges in the case is Irish citizen Michael Campbell who was detained in Lithuania in 2008. His appeal against 12-year jail term is currently being heard by the Lithuanian Court of Appeals. Four Irish MPs came to Vilnius last month to observe the trial, expressing concern over the Irish citizen's imprisonment conditions.

According to earlier media reports, poor imprisonment conditions was one of the reasons specified by defense lawyers of ex-leaders of bankrupt Snoras bank, Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, in their plea against their extradition to Lithuania.

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