Eligijus Masiulis, a former MP and leader of the Liberal Movement who has been under investigation for alleged influence peddling and bribe taking, has presented his version of events. He insists that the money that investigators found in his home, the suspected bribe, was a personal loan extended to him by Raimondas Kurlianskis, vice-president of the business group MG Baltic.
Eligijus Masiulis
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“I borrowed €90,000 from Raimondas Kurlianskas on May 10 this year, to be repaid within a year,” stated Masiulis in an announcement he sent to BNS on Tuesday which he also intends to post on Facebook.

According to the politician, he intended to use the funds to invest in real estate in the Lithuanian seaside. The agreement was not made under notary supervision which he said was “the big mistake”. The rest of the money found in Masiulis' possession was, he said, savings of his relatives.

Masiulis firmly denies having taken any bribes from Kurlianskis and insists all the funds found were obtained legitimately.

Law enforcement officials suspect that Masiulis accepted a €106,000 bribe from Raimondas Kurlianskas for “certain decisions that benefit the corporation”. The scandal was sparked when a search of Masiulis’ home in May discovered around €250,000 with law enforcement officers suspecting the funds were obtained illegally.

Suspicions have also been brought against the vice-president of MG Baltic Kurlianskis and former Seimas member Vytautas Gapšys, who is suspected of taking a €25,000 bribe to work favourably for the corporation.

MP Eugenijus Gentvilas, who chairs the Liberal Movement's group in the Seimas, has said he is convinced by Masiulis' explanation.

"This is why we didn't know anything about it, because it had nothing to do with the party [...]. In this sense, I am convinced. Moreover, could Masiulis lie and invent this story, if phone tap records [made by investigators] showed something entirely different," Gentvilas said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile conservative leader Gabrielius Landsbergis said that Masiulis version of events was thin and hardly convincing.

"I am completely unconvinced and it's even embarrassing to listen to such explanations. We live in the 21st century and everyone knows that a notary is involved in lending money, contracts are drawn up and singed. I could hardly believe that this was a loan," Landsbergis, the chairman of the Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats, said on Tuesday evening.

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