During the parliamentary election campaign last year, Lithuania's Liberal Movement received a non-monetary contribution from a legal entity, the Institute of Applied Politics established by the party's former member Šarūnas Gustainis, the Central Electoral Commission concluded on Thursday.
Šarūnas Gustainis, Eligijus Masiulis ir Remigijus Šimašius
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

All ten members of the election watchdog supported the conclusion, which listed the training organized for the party by the institute was as a non-monetary contribution. Later on Thursday, the commission listed the violation as gross, which means that the panel will shortly discuss cancellation of a grant of nearly 300,000 euros for the Liberal Movement.

According to data available to the Central Electoral Commission, the institute held a training Ready to Win for the party's members for 45,336 euros on Jan. 16 through April 24 of 2016.

According to the conclusion, members of the Liberal Movement made the bulk of the Ready to Win participants: 79 of the 87 specified participants had paid the party's membership fee.

Vincentas Vobolevicius, a member of the commission, said the Liberal Movement should have listed the costs on the Ready to Win training as campaign expenses, however, did not do so. Furthermore, parties are not allowed to receive sponsorship from legal entities.

The ban on donations by legal entities to political parties was imposed a few years ago, with only donations from physical entities allowed.

The commission conducted its inquiry based on information from the Prosecutor General's Office, which recently brought corruption suspicions against the Liberal Movement and the Labor Party.

The law-enforcement suspect that the Liberal Movement could have benefited from possibly unlawful operations of the party's then leader Eligijus Masiulis who held a parliamentary mandate in 2012-2016 and the party's board member, MP Šarūnas Gustainis.

The law-enforcement suspect that the party's former leader Eligijus Masiulis took a bribe of 106,000 euros in cash for the party from MG Baltic vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis along with bribes in kind. Gustainis is suspected of accepting 8,700 euros in bribe from Kurlianskis disguised as support to a public establishment that organized training for the party's members.

The Liberal Movement has dismissed the suspicions as interpretations, pleading not guilty.

BNS
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