The detention of Raimondas Kurlianskis, the MG Baltic group vice-president suspected of bribery, influence peddling and unlawful possession of a state secret, was legitimate, a Vilnius court ruled on Tuesday.
Raimondas Kurlianskis and Eligijus Masiulis
© DELFI montažas

Kurlianskis' lawyer told journalists that his plea against his detention had been overruled.

After studying the pre-trial investigation materials, the Vilnius court ruled that they contained sufficient data for a reasonable suspicion that the suspect may have committed the crimes.

The court merely revised the grounds for his detention – the court established that Kurlianskis might attempt to escape justice.

"The risk of escape may be reduced by way of milder measures of supervision. (...) The court ruled that any other measures of supervision would not eliminate the possibility for the suspect to communicate with other individuals by electronic means when out of detention, thus impeding the proceedings, influencing other individuals, counterfeiting or destroying documents, etc. From the pre-trial investigation materials, the court saw that the risks are indeed well-grounded," judge Ernestas Rimšelis of the Vilnius court told journalists.

In his words, the leading position held by Kurlianskis in numerous media companies was also a factor in the decision.

Kurlianskis is the chairman of the management board at Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas group, the operator of several TV channels, and at Alfa Media, the operator of the news portal.

Kurlianskis was detained on May 12 for 20 days on charges of bribery and trade in influence and has already spent 12 days behind bars. Tuesday's finding is final and not subject to appeals.

Lithuanian law enforcement is investigating suspicions that Kurlianskis may have paid a bribe of about €100,000 to Eligijus Masiulis, former MP and former leader of the opposition Liberal Movement. The businessman pleads not guilty.

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