UNCLAS VILNIUS 001004
STATE FOR L/LEI--K. PROPP AND M. GUILANI AND EUR/NB
JUSTICE FOR OIA--D. GAYNUS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CJAN KCRM SNAR LH
SUBJECT: EXTRADITION REQUEST FOR DARIUS RAMANAUSKAS
REF: STATE 170839
Â¶1. This cable addresses reftel request for information
regarding the extradition of Lithuanian citizen Darius
Ramanauskas on narcotics charges. Post assesses the
likelihood that Lithuanian authorities might use torture to
extract testimony from Ramanauskas as highly doubtful,
especially given the public nature of the Daktaras case. We
note that the Lithuanian constitution specifically prohibits
torture, as well as inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. The USG's Lithuania Country Report on Human
Rights Practices points out that the police at times beat or
otherwise physically mistreated detainees, but that the
number of such reported incidents has declined over the past
few years. We note further that we have been unable to
substantiate any previous claims of torture in Lithuania.
Â¶2. Post has no reason to suspect any political motivation
in Ramanauskas's case, nor do we have any indication that
his testimony is being specifically sought. The Lithuanian
constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the
government respects this provision in practice. We have no
knowledge of any Lithuanian court cases being prosecuted
solely on the basis of political considerations.
Â¶3. In reference to Ramanauskas's case, co-conspirator
Enrikas Daktaras was arrested on April 9, 2003 in a joint
operation by U.S. and Lithuanian law enforcement officers.
Daktaras and three other Lithuanians were suspected of
sending drugs and counterfeit dollars in the United States.
We are aware of at least two other suspects who were also
arrested by U.S. authorities in the United States. The USG
has a clear interest in the prosecution of Daktaras and any
co-conspirators. Enrikas Daktaras was convicted on
narcotics and counterfeiting charges and is currently
serving a six-year prison sentence. Given Daktaras'
extensive criminal record, the ongoing investigation by
Kaunas police is not surprising.