MG Baltic political corruption case goes to court

Raimondas Kurlianskis

A major political corruption case involving MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's largest business groups, and two political parties, the Liberal Movement and the Labor Party, goes to court this week.

Those suspected in the case are being issued with indictments, MB Baltic said on Tuesday, adding that the charges are unfounded and that the process is being used in the struggle for political influence.

"After two years of interpretations, we will, at last, have an opportunity to prove our position in court on an equal footing," MG Baltic President Darius Mockus said in a statement.

Simonas Slapšinskas, a lawyer representing Raimondas Kurlianskis, the group's former vice-president, confirmed to BNS that his client was among those indicted in the case.

According to Slapšinskas, the defense will have an opportunity "to challenge the indictment, to present their arguments and their explanations" in court.

"In the course of the investigation, there were reasonable suspicions about the investigation and the prosecutor himself being biased," he said.

Law-enforcement officials on Tuesday did not comment on the information about the indictments being served and the case being handed over to court.

Formal suspicious in the case have been brought against three legal entities -- the Liberal Movement, the Labor Party and MG Baltic -- and a number of natural persons, including Kurlianskis, three former members of the Liberal Movement -- Eligijus Masiulis, MP Gintaras Steponavičius and Šarūnas Gustainis -- and Vytautas Gapšys, a former Labor Party lawmaker.

The Labor Party is suspected of bribery and influence peddling, the Liberal Movement is suspected of bribery, influence peddling and abuse, and MG Baltic is suspected of bribing the parties and influence peddling.

Officials suspect that the politicians accepted bribes from or negotiated bribes with Kurlianskis in exchange for tabling or supporting initiatives beneficial to MG Baltic in the parliament or other institutions

All the suspects have denied any wrongdoing.

Source: BNS
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