The Lithuanian Constitutional Court decided on Thursday to open MP Kęstutis Pūkas' sexual harassment impeachment case in his absence.
Kęstutis Pūkas
© DELFI / Paulius Garkauskas

Pūkas has presented a medical certificate to the court to justify his absence and is represented by his lawyers, Giedrė Maksimaitytė, the Constitutional Court's spokeswoman, told BNS.

Also present in the court are MP Dovilė Šakalienė, the head of a special parliamentary commission that has concluded that there are grounds for launching impeachment proceedings against Pūkas, as well as the commission's office staff and witnesses.

The hearing is being held behind closed doors.

The Seimas back in May asked the court to give its opinion on whether Pūkas violated the Constitution, but the process was not opened due to the lawmaker's illness, which also stalled the parliament's hearing of Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis' request to strip the parliamentarian of his immunity in a case in which he is suspected of sexual harassment and violation of the rules for keeping firearms.

Prosecutors say that four women's testimonies and information gathered as part of the pre-trial investigation provide reasonable grounds to suspect that Pūkas between January and February 2017 sexually harassed persons subordinate to him.

Pūkas, who was elected to the parliament on the Order and Justice list, says that his political opponents are behind the impeachment efforts.

BNS
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