The Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) has found possible irregularities in Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas' farming practices but will not launch a pre-trial investigation.
FNTT offices
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

FNTT said this in a response to the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrat political group in the parliament.

The agency told the opposition lawmakers that it had looked into the circumstances surrounding the farming and land declaration practices of Sofija Markauskienė, the minister's mother, checking documents and interviewing witnesses.

According to the document, while FNTT found no signs of criminal activity, it identified a case of possibly incorrect declaration in violation of the rules and will forward this information to the National Paying Agency (NPA).

NPA is currently looking into the Markauskas family's business, land lease and payments. Its spokeswoman Donata Macevičienė told BNS on Tuesday that the agency was waiting for Markauskiene to provide certain documents.

The parliament's opposition parties are planning to initiate an interpellation procedure against the agriculture minister.

Markauskas came under fire after the 15min.lt news website reported that his mother had used several plots of land without the landowners' permission and had received EU payments for that land.

The minister admits that he manages the farm, whose registered owner is his mother, under a general authorization.

He says that his family farmed that land under an oral arrangement and that their failure to formalize the arrangement on paper was an unintentional mistake.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė has called on Markauskas to resign. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has said that he will make his decision after receiving law-enforcement bodies' findings.

BNS
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