Lithuanian court to start hearing Ignalina N-plant auction case
A court in Lithuania's northern city of Panevėžys starts hearing a criminal case on Monday, in which former top executives of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) are suspected of abuse of office in organizing an auction of the plant's assets worth 1.5 million euros.
Formal suspicions of abuse were last December brought against six individuals, including two former CEOs of the INPP, Darius Janulevičius and Osvaldas Čiuksys, as well as Lauras Puslys, head of the Commerce Department. The case reached court in January.
The court has also accepted for consideration a public interest lawsuit, worth 1.564 million euros, in which prosecutors are seeking the annulment of the results of the 2014 auction of 2,000 tons of radioactively contaminated copper tubes and the sales contract.
Law-enforcement officials suspect that the winning bidder was pre-determined.
According to the Special Investigation Service (STT), Germany's Sypra, one of only two bidders, won the right to purchase the contaminated tubes for the initial price of over 1.5 million euros, or 781.9 euros per ton. By comparison, non-contaminated copper cost around 3,800 euros per ton in the market at that time.
Janulevičius resigned as the Ignalina plant's CEO in early January amid the suspicions.