The Chief Official Ethics Commission (VTEK) is looking into investigation evidence, handed to it by prosecutors, to see whether Environment Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas deserve to be sanctioned by ethics watchdogs.
Kęstutis Trečiokas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The investigation, which was conducted by Kaunas prosecutors but later dropped due to lack of evidence to bring criminal charges, looked into a government decree passed last September that lifted zoning requirements for constructions in resort areas. Prosecutors suspected that Minister Trečiokas was pressured by Druskininkai Mayor Ričardas Malinauskas, who is linked to dubious construction in the town's centre, to push the resolution through.

The Kaunas prosecutors have handed over the investigation data, including transcripts of phone conversations between Trečiokas and Malinauskas, to the VTEK. The phone conversations show that Malinauskas has asked Trečiokas to urge the government to pass the resolution and Trečiokas has promised to do so.

The investigation also involved Government Chancellor Alminas Mačiulis and Environment Ministry Chancellor Robertas Klovas.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has said he will decide whether to ask Trečiokas to step down once the VTEK hands its conclusion.

The environment minister has also pledged to resign, should the ethics commission decide that he has breached official ethics.

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