Corruption, Legislation, Lithuania

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 13.08.2022, 01:13

Searches carried out at homes of Lithuania's Druskininkai mayor

BC, Vilnius, 21.02.2019.Print version
Searches have been carried out at the homes of Ricardas Malinauskas, mayor of Lithuania's southern resort town of Druskininkai, and also his adviser as part of a large-scale corruption investigation, the politician said LETA/BNS.

"Under a court ruling, searches were carried out at my home yesterday, and also at the home of my adviser Aivaras Kadziauskas," Malinauskas told journalists on Thursday.

During a press conference, the Druskininkai mayor also accused several politicians and prosecutors of having organized the crackdown, adding that an adviser to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite put pressure on judges.

Malinauskas' statement came several minutes prior to the country's Central Electoral Commission's decision to lift his legal immunity in response to a law enforcement's request so that corruption suspicions could be brought against him.

Zydrunas Bartkus, head of the Special Investigation Service, says law enforcement officials suspect that bribes were paid in the so-called Vijunele Manor case.

The Druskininkai mayor also confirmed the fact that he had received a law enforcement subpoena for questioning and its timing is now being arranged.

"If corruption suspicions are brought against me, then it will be absurd which will eventually be resolved," Malinauskas said. "I do now know any of the detained people mentioned in the media yesterday, but I am convinced that at least some of them were detained because they defied orders."

26 people, including eight judges and five lawyers, have been detained as part of the ongoing corruption probe. Malinauskas calls suspicions against him "a scam by top politicians" and an act of desperation as Lithuania might lose the Vijunele Manor case in the Strasbourg court.

"I would like to say that Lithuania has probably reached the dead-end with this scam. I have said and will continue saying that I am convinced and I know that there's not a single violation in the Vijunele Manor documentation and there are none and have never been in any other affairs. It has all been fabricated by people with clear interests," Malinauskas said.

He claims the Druskininkai Municipality has been subject to a crackdown for the past eight years and its initiators include local liberals Juozas Sarkus, Valdas Trinkunas and prosecutors Marius Salcius ir Irmantas Mikelionis.

The Druskininkai mayor also accused presidential adviser on legal affairs Rasa Svetikaite of putting pressure on judges. "As far as we know, Svetikaite has put pressure on all judges either indirectly or through the court presidents," he said.

Malinauskas also accused liberal MP Vitalijus Gailius of forging documents and giving orders to law enforcement. He claims that the new suspicions are linked to the upcoming municipal election.

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