aA
A major political corruption case involving MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's largest business groups, and two political parties went for trial on Thursday, but the first hearing was adjourned to Friday due to the absence of MP Gintaras Steponavičius, a defendant.
Eligijus Masiulis, Raimondas Kurlianskis, Gintaras Steponavičius, Šarūnas Gustainis, Vytautas Gapšys
Eligijus Masiulis, Raimondas Kurlianskis, Gintaras Steponavičius, Šarūnas Gustainis, Vytautas Gapšys
© DELFI montažas

Thursday's hearing at the Vilnius Regional Court lasted more than ten minutes and is scheduled to resume on Friday afternoon after Steponavičius returns from a business trip.

Linas Belevičius, a lawyer representing MG Baltic, plans request on Friday the disqualification of the entire panel of judges hearing the case. He did not say on what grounds.

Steponavičius' lawyer informed the court on Thursday that his client was on a trip to Finland that had been pre-planned and approved by the Seimas Board. The lawmaker is to return to Lithuania later on Thursday.

Charges in the case have been brought against three legal entities -- MG Baltic, the Liberal Movement and the Labor Party -- and a number of natural persons, including three former members of the Liberal Movement -- Steponavičius, Eligijus Masiulis and Šarūnas Gustainis -- and Vytautas Gapšys, a former Labor Party lawmaker, as well as Raimondas Kurlianskis, a former vice-president of MG Baltic.

The Labor Party is charged with bribery and influence peddling, the Liberal Movement, with bribery, influence peddling and abuse, and MG Baltic, with bribery and influence peddling.

Prosecutors suspect that the politicians took or negotiated bribes with Kurlianskis and later tabled or supported initiatives at the parliament or other institutions in favor of the business group.

Masiulis, a former leader of the Liberal Movement, is charged with influence peddling, bribery and unlawful enrichment. Steponavičius, the party's former vice-chairman, stands trial for abuse of office, and Gustainis, a former member of the Vilnius City Council, is charged with bribery. Gapšys and Kurlianskis stand trial for bribery and influence peddling.

All the accused have denied any wrongdoing.

As part of their pre-trial investigation, prosecutors questioned more than 150 individuals, including over 50 members of the current and former parliaments, a few former ministers and members of the European Parliament. Over 200 interrogations and 30 searches were conducted.

Masiulis, Kurlianskis, Gapšys and Gustainis were present in court on Thursday. The process involves 10 defense lawyers.

"I'm not a clairvoyant," Justas Laucius, the public prosecutor in the trial, told reporters when asked how long the trial might last.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

811 coronavirus cases in Lithuania

On Sunday morning, there were 811 COVID-19 cases in Lithuania. 10 deaths related to the novel...

10th coronavirus death reported

Another patient infected with COVID-19 died in Lithuania on Saturday, bringing the country's death...

Lithuania no longer allows cars from Russia, Belarus to enter

A ban for passenger cars to enter Lithuania from Belarus and Russia have come into force on...

President signs into law tougher penalties for breaking quarantine rules

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has signed into law a legislative package introducing tougher...

Lithuania counts 771 confirmed coronavirus cases

On Saturday morning there were 771 confirmed coronavirus cases in Lithuania. On Friday, 75 new...

Top news

President signs into law tougher penalties for breaking quarantine rules

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has signed into law a legislative package introducing tougher...

811 coronavirus cases in Lithuania

On Sunday morning, there were 811 COVID-19 cases in Lithuania. 10 deaths related to the novel...

Lithuania's Devold says could make 100,000 medical coveralls by late summer

Norwegian-owned Lithuanian textile manufacturer Devold says it could producer around 100,000...

10th coronavirus death reported

Another patient infected with COVID-19 died in Lithuania on Saturday, bringing the country's death...

Lithuania no longer allows cars from Russia, Belarus to enter

A ban for passenger cars to enter Lithuania from Belarus and Russia have come into force on...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina