Judge Arūnas Kisielius on Friday issued a recusal order, saying that he already heard a case in which charges were brought against the Labor Party and Vytautas Gapšys, who was at that time one of the party’s leaders and a member of the Seimas.
Kisielius was on a three-strong panel of Vilnius Regional Court judges who in July 2013 issued their judgment in the Labor Party’s “fraudulent bookkeeping” case.
“I recused myself so that there is no doubt about objectivity, impartiality,” he told BNS on Friday.
Judge Stasys Lemežis, whose daughter works at the same law firm as some defense lawyers in the case, has also disqualified himself from the process.
Formal suspicious in the case have been brought against three legal entities — the Liberal Movement, the Labor Party and MG Baltic — and a number of natural persons, including Kurlianskis, three former members of the Liberal Movement — Eligijus Masiulis, MP Gintaras Steponavičius and Šarūnas Gustainis — and Vytautas Gapšys, a former Labor Party lawmaker.
Kurlianskis is charged with giving bribes to Masiulis, Gustainis and Gapsys.
All the suspects have denied any wrongdoing.