Lithuanian terror suspect released pending trial
A Lithuanian woman indicted for plotting a suicide attack in Russia on behalf of an Islamist network has been released from detention pending her trial, a court decided Thursday.
"The court believes that (Egle) Kusaite will not try to escape or go into hiding. Case material shows that during detention, her ties with her mother became stronger, that the woman's thinking and values are changing," a Vilnius court said in a statement.
Lithuanian national Egle Kusaite, 21, was indicted in May with plotting to strike at Russian military targets related to the conflict in Chechnya, with the aim of causing a maximum death toll and spreading panic.
Kusaite was detained in October 2009 but her case only became public in April this year when it was revealed by Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas.
Prosecutors have claimed that she is a convert to Islam -- most Lithuanians are Catholic -- and developed a network of contacts with militants in Russia as well as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Britain.
Her defence team and family have rejected the allegations and Thursday's decision for Kusaite's release was announced after she testified her confession was pressured by the use of physical and psychological violence.
"She said in court that her confession was forced by psychological and physical violence and this cannot be treated as reliable proof in the case," Kusaite's lawyer Ingrida Botyriene told AFP, commenting on the court decision but refusing to elaborate who Kusaite had accused of using violence.
It was not immediately clear Thursday when Kusaite's case might go to trial.
© 2010 AFP