Reshuffling stepped up fight with interest groups, Lithuanian president says
The replacement of certain heads of law enforcement and intelligence institutions before 2016 led to a more drastic and effective fight against corrupt interest groups' influence on political processes, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says.
In an interview with the Lithuanian Radio on Tuesday, the president said she had been informed about possible signs of corruption and illicit influence on the political system. But, Grybauskaitė stressed, "knowing the fact is not enough as you need evidence for a case and a pre-trial investigation to be launched, and law enforcement and intelligence institutions' courage and ability is needed for that, which we have seen since the start of 2016".
"The Law on Criminal Intelligence stipulates that heads of state can be regularly informed about corruption phenomena in the country, and that, undoubtedly, has been done within the scope the law allows law enforcement and intelligence institutions to do. But it's only information about influence, it has no point as evidence is needed, and evidence is collected by law enforcement institutions, like the Special Investigation Service and the prosecution service," Grybauskaitė said when asked whether she was aware of MG Baltic's influence on political parties and political processes.
The president paid attention to the fact that several political corruption cases have already reached court and that "it's becoming a rule, rather than an exception."
"I'm, therefore, glad and the fact that cases have started reaching courts shows that law enforcement is capable of collecting and presenting evidence. And the latest large-scale political corruption case has also reached court, and that means that the consistent fight against corruption and the law enforcement's professionalism and effort are starting to produce tangible results," the Lithuanian president said.