Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Celtic Rendition



I was passing my local traffic lights control box the other day when I spied the above poster stuck to the side of it. I was not aware of rendition flights from Dublin to Lithuania, though in a world where nothing is as it seems, nothing is impossible. I took a photo and resolved to chase up the item.

It appears that the Lithuanian authorities arrested an Irishman (Michael Campbell) in a sting operation in January 2008, involving MI5, the Garda and the Lithuanian police. He has been held without trial since. Meanwhile the Lithuanian authorities have applied to extradite two further Irishmen (including Michael's brother) in connection with the case. The two men are currently in custody here following the extradition requests. A campaign is currently underway to stall any extradition before the case against Michael is clarified, and probably indefinitely in light of conditions in Lithuanian prisons and police stations.

You can catch up on this at the Breton Press Agency and at Mathias Vermeulen's blog

I have been to Vilnius once. I was told I would need a visa which I could get at the airport on arrival. This was issued by the military on the spot. The only glitch was that, having stamped my passport, instead of entering my name in the ledger they entered my sons' names from the passport. So theoretically my sons who have never visited Lithuania are still there. In those days Lithuania was still working off the old Soviet infrastructure and the hotel I stayed in had gazillions of direct telephone lines, one to each room. I thought this very inefficient until it was pointed out to me that it was in fact very efficient, when viewed from the perspective of the local police station.

Fortunately, I did not get to sample police hospitality during my short stay.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fark, I must be careful when *next* visiting the country ;)