Lithuania refuses to hand suspect to U.S.A.

  • 2004-05-27
  • By The Baltic Times
VILNIUS – The Lithuanian Court of Appeals has approved the verdict of a lower court refusing to extradite Darius Reika, a Lithuanian citizen accused of bribery, for prosecution in the United States.

Reika has been questioned over the phone by American officers about an alleged bribery of a U.S. Embassy employee in Vilnius while seeking to obtain nine U.S. visas for Lithuanian citizens.
The visas were subsequently issued, and the nine Lithuanians successfully entered the United States. The people have informed the American officers that they had paid $2,000-$14,000 for an intermediary to obtain the visas.
Citing the European Convention of Human Rights, the Court of Appeal has concluded that none of the Lithuanians can be sent out from the territory of their country. Moreover, the court explained that the criminal offence had been committed in Lithuania, and since the criminal prosecution has not yet been started in Lithuania, there are no grounds for extradition to the United States.
If Reika were sent to America he could face a 10-year imprisonment sentence for bribery.
Reika, who is currently not being detained, strongly denies all charges, while Lithuanian officers are considering launching a criminal prosecution against him at home.