State security agents in September seized all 15,000 copies of the Vilnius-based semimonthly Laisvas Laikrastis (Free Newspaper) and briefly detained Editor-in-Chief Aurimas Drizius. The seized edition's lead story cited telephone conversations between politicians and a local casino operator as evidence of corruption. The 2004 conversations had been recorded by state security agents. Transcripts were obtained by Laisvas Laikrastis through sources the paper would not disclose, according to CPJ research. Ardivas Pocius, director of the State Security Department, or VSD, said the copies were confiscated because they contained secret investigative information, the news agency ITAR-TASS reported. Agents also searched the paper's newsroom and Drizius' home, confiscating the hard drives of all six newsroom computers and the editor's home computer. Drizius was released the next day on orders of Lithuania's prosecutor general, but the seized copies and computers were not returned, the editor told CPJ. Drizius filed a civil lawsuit against the VSD, saying the arrest had tarnished his reputation.

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