Vilnius court bans Bakas from calling MG Baltic 'organized criminal group'
A Vilnius court on Friday prohibited Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK), from calling MG Baltic, one of the country's largest business groups, as "an organized criminal group".
The Vilnius City District court also told the lawmaker to refrain from claims that the group has caused 500 million euros in damage to the state.
According to the court, such claims may have an impact on a court hearing a political corruption case involving MG Baltic and violates the legal presumption of the group's innocence.
Bakas has told the media that there are "signs of organized crime" in activities by the group's owners. The findings of an investigation carried out by the NSGK also speak about "signs of a criminal group".
In his comments on the alleged damage caused by MG Baltic, the chairman has said that the business group won tenders worth around 500 million euros during the crisis period.
The court's orders are provisional measures pending its ruling on a lawsuit filed by MG Baltic in which the group asks for Bakas' claims to be recognized as not corresponding to reality and damaging its business reputation.
The Bakas-led parliamentary investigation found that MG Baltic's activities pose a threat to Lithuania's national security. In the political corruption trial, the group is charged with bribery and influence peddling.
MG Baltic says that the proceedings are biased.
Friday's ruling can be appealed to the Vilnius Regional Court within a week.