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Lithuania official slams phone hacking scandal

Jun 20, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

Lithuanian Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene has criticized the actions of law enforcement agencies  for not only intercepting journalists telephone conversations but intimidating the public regarding constant surveillance.

The comments come after it was revealed law enforcement agencies hacked the phone calls of 17 journalists at the Baltic News Service in Vilnius and four presidential office officials during a pre-trial investigation.

Journalists at the news service were taken in to the questioning and their office raided last year after the news service gained access to leaked documents showing evidence of Russian smear campaign against Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite.

According to Grauziniene wiretapping takes place far too often which increases emotional and psychological tension and people live in fear of being under surveillance even if they are not.

"We must live in a free and democratic country, not constrained by fear," Grauziniene said.

"Judges should address this issue with more responsibility. I have heard various occurrences when sanctions to intercept conversations were applied very easily. This should not be happening," she added.

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