Seimas panel receives some of declassified info from security services - chair

Vytautas Bakas

The chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK) confirmed on Monday that the panel, which is conducting a probe into interest groups' unlawful influence on politicians, has received a part of declassified information from security services.

"I received around a third of the declassified information we requested by post this morning," Vytautas Bakas told BNS on Monday.

Bakas said that the committee is yet to decide on releasing a part of its findings to the public and is now waiting for decisions from the State Security Department (VSD) and the Special Investigation Service (SST) on declassifying certain information.

The classified part of the investigation involves "several tens of surnames and names and each of them is being analyzed to make sure that ongoing investigations by the services and their working methods are not affected," he said.

When asked why a considerable part of politicians' surnames or political parties' names have been blacked out in the declassified part of VSD information, Bakas said that the general public has so far had no picture of backstage political life.

"The public didn't have any picture at all. Investigations had been conducted for years and everybody knew everything, but none of it was disclosed to the public. Our goal is to put an end to this culture and to show that political reality, the extent of political corruption, the scale of fraudulent activity and the main risks," he said.

VSD would not comment on the declassified information.

VSD spokeswoman Aurelija Katkuvienė only told BNS some of the information provided by the department to the Seimas committee some time ago has been now declassified.

VSD says in a document addressed to the lawmakers that journalist Tomas Dapkus, as a middleman for the top executives of MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's biggest business groups, was involved in activities bearing the signs of blackmail.

According to the document, which was signed by VSD Director Darius Jauniškis, Dapkus became "an intermediary representing the interests of MG managers who not only establishes contacts with politicians and state officials, but also collects information useful for himself and for the group, later using it as a tool of manipulation and/or blackmail".

The document describes various political processes and situations in Vilnius' local authority, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai, the State Tax Inspectorate, the Competition Council, and other authorities and organizations.

Dapkus and MG Baltic's spokespeople told BNS that they will comment on the situation after reading the document.

Source: BNS
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