MP says Liberal bribery investigation has echoes of 2004 probe that was dropped

Gediminas Kirkilas

Deputy Seimas Speaker Gediminas Kirkilas, a social democrat, says the current bribery investigations involving former Liberal leader Eligijus Masiulis and Labour Party MP Vytautas Gapšys reminds him of a similar case 12 years ago.

The corruption investigation in 2004 involved a business group, Rubicon, suspected of bribing several members of parliament. The high-profile investigation, however, did not lead to any convictions.

"Frankly speaking, one is not surprised by anything in politics," Kirkilas told Žinių Radijas, adding that the cases now and in 2004 both had great political repercussions.

"I would like to believe that our law-enforcement is not linked to politics. If we interfere with their work, they will interfere with ours," Kirkilas said.

In 2004, investigators made allegations against social democrat MP Vytenis Andriukaitis (currently Lithuania's EC commissioner), conservative Arvydas Vidžiūnas and social-liberal Vytautas Kvietkauskas. They were suspected of taking bribes from Rubicon Group for decisions favourable to the business company.

However, the case was soon dismissed as the investigators failed to present evidence beyond phone conversation taps.

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