MG Baltic calls SSD claims "misunderstanding", "absurd interpretation"
Lithuania's MG Baltic business group has called the State Security Department's claims about businessmen's attempts to influence the Competition Council and the Liberal Movement a "misunderstanding" and "absurd".
The SSD claims in its report that Elonas Satas, a deputy chairman of Lithuania's Competition Council, pushed for backing MG Baltic business group's bid to acquire shares of Alita, one of the largest alcohol producers in Lithuania.
"It's complete misunderstanding when the SSD bases its information on "information provided by competitors". What if the SSD's activities were judged based on the KGB's information and that information was taken seriously?' Tadas Marciukaitis, spokesman for MG Baltic, told BNS Lithuania. "The concern's lawyers had contact with the Council's members within legal limits".
The SSG report to lawmakers states that "the need to have "its own man" on the Competition Council arouse for MG Baltic since the group wanted to buy Alita shares since 2008.
"Incumbent Council member Satas became that man after serving as head of the Competitions Council's Law and Competition Department," the SSD says.
The reports states that MG Baltic representatives Romanas Raulynaitis, its board member and lawyer, and lawyer Inga Žemkauskienė had „regular contact“ with Satas in 2011.
In December, 2014, Mineraliniai Vandenys, part of the MG Baltic business group, bought 99.03 percent of Alita shares from FR&R Invest, part of the Swedbank group, and Vytautas Junevicius. The Competition Council backed the deal on condition that Alita's vodka and brandy production and sale business would be sold.
"It's another absurd interpretation. MG Baltic has never influenced the election of the chairman of the liberals, the social democrats, the conservatives or any other party, as well it has never appointed prosecutor general of SSD director," Marciukaitis told BNS Lithuania.