A court has sentenced former top executives of Naftos Grupė (Oil Group), an oil product forwarding company that was granted exceptional terms for the transhipment of oil products via Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipeda Oil) in 2005 to 2010, to several years in prison and ordered them to pay the state-owned oil terminal almost 21 million euros in damages.
Klaipėdos Nafta
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The Klaipeda regional court's ruling, which comes after seven years of investigation and trial, is likely to be appealed to a higher court.

Zigmas Pocius, the judge who heard the case in Klaipeda, told BNS that prison sentences (not suspended) had been handed down to Naftos Grupė's owners and top executives, Artūras Urbutis and his brother Antanas Urbutis, as well as to Ričardas Milvydas, a former commercial director of Klaipėdos Nafta.

Another three people, including Klaipedos Nafta's former CEO Jurgis Aušra, have been sentenced to suspended prison sentences.

"Look at what amounts of money were involved and how dangerous the crime was. There were no mitigating circumstances," the judge told BNS.

A four-year-long investigation by law-enforcement bodies established that Naftos Grupė had enjoyed exceptional terms from Klaipėdos Nafta between 2005 and 2010 under a contract obtained by Artūras Urbutis, Naftos Grupė's sole shareholder, by using his father-in-law's connections with Aušra. The contract was loss-making for the state.

BNS
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