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A total of 11 people, including prosecutors, an officer of the country's Financial Crime Investigation Service and a lawyer, have been detained in Lithuania as part of a pre-trial investigation into various corruption crimes, the prosecution service said on Wednesday.
Antrankiai (asociatyvi nuotr.)
Antrankiai (asociatyvi nuotr.)
© Sipa / Scanpix

It said those detained include Nerijus Marcinkevicius and Ugnius Vycinas, prosecutors from the Prosecutor General's Office's Department for Criminal Prosecution, prosecutor Donatas Puzinas of Kaunas Regional Prosecutor's Office's 2nd criminal prosecution division, Nerijus Valatka, an FNCI officer, and Sarunas Mickevicius, a lawyer working in Kaunas, as well as another six private persons.

"The pre-trial investigation was launched upon receipt of information that the aforementioned prosecutors, as well as the FCIS officer, were meeting with the mentioned lawyer and discussing cases placed at their disposal and their progress, which might be beneficial to third private persons," Prosecutor General Evaldas Pasilis told a press conference on Wednesday.

"Such actions are suspected to have been made during the investigation of high-profile cases regarding embezzlement at Ukio Bankas, Kredito Unija, and other financial crime cases," the chief prosecutor said.

The ongoing pre-trial investigation covers influence peddling, bribery and abuse.

The prosecutors involved are suspended, and internal investigations were launched on Wednesday, Pasilis said, adding that cases these prosecutors worked on will be reviewed, including those dropped, halted or when persons were exempted from liability.

Zydrunas Bartukus, director of the Special Investigation Service, which is carrying out the investigation, said the pre-trial investigation has been non-public for a long time.

"Today, early morning, a large-scale operation was carried out, involving around 50 SIS officers. Some 30 searches were carried out and, speaking of the scope of this case, at least 30 criminal acts are now under investigation," the SIS chief said, adding that his service is cooperating with the FCIS and the Prosecutor General's Office as part of this investigation.

Bartkus also expressed his delight that the result was achieved without any information leaks. He did not elaborate on when the pre-trial investigation was launched and just noted that it happened earlier this year.

BNS
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