Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis says that the influence peddling suspicions brought by the Special Investigation Service against a Vilnius prosecutor harm the reputation of state institutions.
Rita Aliukonienė
© DELFI montažas

"This definitely does not help the reputation, harm has been done but for now we should wait for evidence, as we often have cases when evidence is not sufficient, there is no case, and special witnesses are no longer witnesses or defendants, their name is tainted. The fact of the investigation is already tainting," Pranckietis told journalists at the parliament on Thursday.

He expressed certitude that the law-enforcement would establish whether there had been attempts to influence the judges hearing the Labor Party's case.

Earlier on Thursday, Lithuania's law-enforcement detained Rita Aliukonienė , the chief prosecutor of the First Division of Criminal Prosecution at the Vilnius Regional Prosecutor's Office, and intend to bring suspicions of large-scale influence peddling against her. The Prosecutor General's Office confirmed the probe had to do with hearings of the Labour Party's case in the Supreme Court.

Prosecutors have so far provided no information as to how the crime could have been committed, however, Martynas Jovaiša, chief prosecutor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Department at the Prosecutor General's Office, told journalists that "there could be more suspects."

According to information available to BNS, Viktoras Aidukas, chairman of the Supreme Court's panel of judges, was questioned in the probe as a special witness.

The Labour Party's case including appeals was heard in the Supreme Court by a panel of seven judges in three hearings, ruling that the party should stand charges in the bookkeeping fraud trial regardless of changing its structure before the verdict was handed down by the court of first instance.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the Labor Party's founder, Viktor Uspaskich, its former leader Vytautas Gapšys and former financial officer Marina Liutkevičienė had been legitimately convicted of bookkeeping fraud. They were imposed fines. The court also upheld the Court of Appeals' ruling to clear them off the charges of fraud.

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