Reading out of indictment in MG Baltic political corruption trial starts

Prosecutors began to read out the indictment in a major political corruption case involving MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's largest business groups, and two political parties at the Vilnius Regional Court on Tuesday.

The indictment specifies in detail the charges against MG Baltic, the Liberal Movement and the Labor Party, as well as three former members of the Seimas -- Eligijus Masiulis, Vytautas Gapšys and Šarūnas Gustainis -- and MP Gintaras Steponavičius, and MG Baltic's former Vice-President Raimondas Kurlianskis.

The judges on Tuesday morning dismissed defense lawyers' motions to send the case back to the prosecutor's office and turn to the Constitutional Court over law-enforcement officials' actions against Masiulis, a former leader of the Liberal Movement.

The court then allowed Justas Laucius, the public prosecutor in the trial, to start reading out the indictment.

Laucius said that he will read out a shortened version of the 450-page indictment in court.

The defendants will then be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.

All the accused have until now denied any wrongdoing.

Law-enforcement officials suspect that the politicians took or negotiated bribes with Kurlianskis and later tabled or supported initiatives at the parliament or other institutions in favor of the business group.

Source: BNS
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