Lithuania's Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis plans to attend a meeting of the European Parliament's (EP) Committee on Legal Affairs to explain the reasons behind the request to lift the legal immunity of the Order and Justice party's former leader Rolandas Paksas in a corruption case.
Rolandas Paksas
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The Prosecutor General's Office said that Pasilis received an invitation from the EP committee on Feb. 20 to "share his opinions about the case', therefore, will attend the meeting, as soon as the date has been finalized. The Prosecutor General's Office also cited the invitation, saying that "sharing of opinions is fully voluntary, it would be held behind closed doors and under utmost confidentiality."

Lithuanian prosecutors last spring asked the European Parliament to lift the immunity of Paksas. They suspect that Gedvydas Vainauskas, CEO of the media group Lietuvos Rytas, offered a 10,000-euro bribe to Paksas for pressuring construction inspectors to authorize the opening of a new Norfa retail store in Prienai, a town in southern Lithuania.

The European Parliament's committee decided to invite the Lithuanian prosecutor general to explain the facts regarding an ongoing corruption investigation involving Paksas. Robertas Pogorelis, the European Parliament's spokesman in Lithuania, has described the invitation as something very unusual in the parliament's practice

Both Paksas and Vainauskas have denied the suspicions against them, branding the case as politicized. Paksas resigned from the leadership of the Order and Justice party last October after the first round of voting in the parliamentary elections.

Since his removal from the President's Office by way of impeachment in 2004, he cannot run for the Lithuanian parliament, however, has been elected to the EP twice.

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