Vilnius Regional Court judges has decided not to recuse from hearing the MG Baltic political corruption case. A call for prosecutor Justas Laucius to recuse has also been rejected.
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"There's no basis for the judicial college to recuse," the court said.

Following this decision, the hearing continues.

A week ago, the defendant and their lawyers demanded that the judges and prosecutor recuse. Linas Belevičius, representing MG Baltic, demanded that all three judges – Nijolė Žimkienė, Jurgita Kolyčienė and Ugnius Trumpulis – recuse.

The lawyers for the defendants in the political corruption case say President Dalia Grybauskaitė might affect the position of the judges with her various public statements. They link the president's statements and the demand for the judges to disqualify themselves with the existing procedure in Lithuania where judges are appointed and dismissed by president. All the three judges in the MG Baltic case were appointed by the president.

Formal charges in the case were brought against three legal entities -- the Liberal Movement, the Labor Party and MG Baltic -- and a number of natural persons, including Kurlianskis, three former members of the Liberal Movement -- Eligijus Masiulis, MP Gintaras Steponavičius and Šarūnas Gustainis -- and Vytautas Gapšys, a former Labor Party lawmaker.

Kurlianskis is charged with giving bribes to Masiulis, Gustainis and Gapšys.

All the suspects have denied any wrongdoing.

The Labor Party and the Liberal Movement are charged with bribery, influence peddling and abuse of their position, and MG Baltic is suspected of having bribed the parties and of influence peddling.

BNS
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