MEP Paksas' influence peddling case goes to court

Rolandas Paksas

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office said on Tuesday that prosecutors have completed their pre-trial investigation into a case in which Rolandas Paksas, a Lithuanian member of the European Parliament, and Gedvydas Vainauskas, CEO of the media group Lietuvos Rytas, are suspected of influence peddling, and have handed the case over to court.

The prosecutors suspect that Paksas "promised and agreed to accept" a 15,000-euro bribe from Vainauskas in 2015.

Paksas allegedly was to influence construction inspectors to authorize the opening of a new Norfa retail store in Prienai, a town in southern Lithuania.

It is suspected that a representative of Norfa and a company that built the store turned to Vainauskas, who then contacted Paksas, who at that time was chairman of the Order and Justice party, whose member Kęstutis Trečiokas then held the post Environment Minister.

Both Paksas and Vainauskas have denied the allegations, branding the case as politicized.

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