A loan or repayment of loans is the most frequent defence in corruption crimes, says Saulius Urbanavičius, the head of Lithuania's Special Investigation Service conducting probes of political corruption.
Eligijus Masiulis
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"A suspect, in this case Eligijus Masiulis, can testify or refuse to testify at all. When giving testimony, they can tell the truth or defend themselves in other ways. Our experience is that the most frequent defence version in crimes of corruption that it was a loan or repayment of a loan," Urbanavičius told BNS on Wednesday.

Masiulis, the former leader of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement, is suspected of taking a bribe of €106,000 from MG Baltic concern vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis in exchange for "decisions favourable and financially beneficial" for the company.

On Tuesday, Masiulis stated that he had borrowed €90,00 from Kurlianskis, saying that he had also signed a loan note in his car, but did not get it notarized.

The Prosecutor General's Office has not provided a comment on Masiulis' testimony.

"The Prosecutor General's Office is not the institution that would get into public counter-argumentation with a participant of proceedings. Our function is to conduct a pre-trial investigation and complete it in a way that it should be completed or drop it, if no features of criminal deeds are established," spokeswoman Elena Martinonienė told BNS.

Masiulis is suspected of unlawful enrichment, as the authorities found a total of €250,000 in cash in his home. The law-enforcement suspect the money had been acquired illegally. Meanwhile, the former MP maintains the money was savings accumulated by him and his relatives for investment in real estate projects.

The deals were not indicated in Masiulis' declarations of income, property or interests.

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