Lithuanian journalists take govt to court over refusal to release meeting recording

The Lithuanian Journalists' Union (LJU) and journalists from several media outlets have asked a court to order the government to provide them with the audio recording of a Cabinet meeting in which ministers discussed giving the media free access to registry data.

The complaint was filed on Friday with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court by journalists of the Delfi and 15min news websites, the Baltic News Service, the Lithuanian National Radio and Television, and Laisvės TV.

They are asking the court to rule that the government's refusal to release the audio recording was unfounded and to order it to recover the deleted recording and provide it to the plaintiffs.

The LJU says in a statement that the complaint was filed on the last day possible "as the journalist community hoped until the last moment that the government office would comply with its statutory duty to provide journalists with the necessary information about the decision taken at the official government meeting".

The government says its office has deleted the recording of the October 3 meeting, in which the Cabinet discussed legislative amendments to give the media free access to registry data but postponed its decision on the issue.

Some journalists and opposition lawmakers accuse the government of unjustifiably restricting access to information for the media. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says the government office followed the usual practice.

Source: BNS
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