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Prosecutors have found that MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's biggest business groups, financially supported the Lithuanian Liberal Movement, although this is prohibited by law.
"MG Baltic", Eligijus Masiulis and Gintaras Steponavičius
"MG Baltic", Eligijus Masiulis and Gintaras Steponavičius
© DELFI montažas

The case file shows that Gintaras Steponavičius, a former vice-chairman of the Liberal Movement, met with a MG Baltic representative several times and spoke about transferring money, which was later done, Elena Martinonienė, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's Office, said on Thursday.

"Money was later transferred to certain accounts, including the party's account, the account of a public institution and the parliamentarian's election campaign account," she told reporters.

Lithuanian law prohibits legal entities from financing political parties.

Prosecutors would not say, at least for now, how much money was transferred, but the spokeswoman noted that repeated transfers had been made over a certain period of time starting from 2012.

Steponavičius, as a member of the Seimas, currently enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution. However, based on material collected as part of a pre-trial investigation, his actions may qualify as abuse of office, which is punishable, under the Criminal Code, by up to seven years of imprisonment.

Lithuanian Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis on Thursday sent a formal request to Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, to strip MP Steponavičius of his immunity.

Prosecutors say that they have sufficient grounds to believe that the member of the Liberal Movement's political group in the parliament has voted in favour of legislation benefiting the interests of MG Baltic.

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