In the interview room: procedural rights of suspects in Lithuania

February 4, 2019

The police interview of a suspect is often crucial to his case. In order to ensure that the data collected during interviews are legitimate and reliable, the rights of suspects – the right to know, the right to translation, the right to a defence and others – must be guaranteed. These rights of suspects are enshrined in EU directives and Lithuanian law.

In order to look at how the procedural rights of suspects are guaranteed in the daily practice of police investigators, the Human Rights Monitoring Institute carried out a study that involved the observation of 54 interviews with suspects and qualitative interviews with lawyers and police investigators.

This is the first study of its kind in Lithuania. It has identified key areas where there is a gap between the standards set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure and everyday practice. Examples of good practice were also documented, showing the professional attitude of some investigators towards the procedural rights of suspects. The study in Lithuania was part of a larger study in eight other countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Slovenia).

We are grateful to the Lithuanian Police for their trust and cooperation.

We invite you to take a look at the results of the study: the publication “Inside the Interrogation Room: procedural rights of suspects in Lithuania” (in Lithuanian language) and the comparative report “Inside Police Custody” (in English).