Lithuanian Labour Party MP Vytautas Gapšys dismissed government investigators' suspicions that he had taken a €25,000 bribe from MG Baltic vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis.

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Vytautas Gapšys
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Gapšys admitted to having negotiated for discounts for political advertisements in the group's TV channels, but said he had never violated any laws. He emphasized this was his direct task as the head of the party's election committee.

"The things they're saying bring a certain smile to my face. Isn't it the function of the head of an election committee to negotiate for discounts on media channels? I believe it is one of the primary tasks any head of an election committee does. I have held talks with probably all channels, heads of channels know that I am a rather strong negotiator, we have an advisory company, which tells us about prices and about what certain channels are worth, however, we do this in a way that is allowed by the law," Gapšys told journalists at the Seimas (parliament) on Monday.

He also said there were no reasons for him to give up his MP mandate amid the investigation opened by prosecutors.

Earlier on Monday, the Prosecutor General's Office brought additional suspicions against Kurlianskis, who is now also suspected of paying a bribe of €25,000 euros to Gapšys.

According to evidence available to the authorities, Kurlianskis wanted Gapšys to vote and persuade other Labor Party MPs to vote in support of decisions favorable for MG Baltic in exchange for discounts for the broadcast of political advertisements by two of the concern's TV channels.

Kurlianskis is chairman of the management board at the Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas Group, the operator of several TV channels, and at Alfa Media, the operator of the news portal.

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