EP to vote on lifting Lithuanian MEP’s immunity

Rolandas Paksas
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Lithuanian law enforcement bodies want to bring official suspicions against the politician in an influence peddling case.

European Parliament Vice-President David-Maria Sassoli informed MEPs about the request from the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office for the waiver of immunity during Wednesday’s plenary session.

“It (the request) has been sent to the Committee on Legal Affairs, which is responsible for this,” the Italian MEP said.

After examining the Lithuanian prosecutors’ request, the committee will have to make a reasoned proposal about whether or not to strip Paksas of his immunity. The final decision will be made by the European Parliament through a vote.

The Lithuanian Special Investigation Service is carrying out an investigation into suspicions that Gedvydas Vainauskas, CEO of the media group Lietuvos Rytas, offered a bribe to Paksas for pressuring the staff of the State Inspectorate for Territorial Planning and Construction to authorize the opening of a new Norfa supermarket in Prienai, a town in the southern part of the country.

Suspicions of influence peddling have already been brought against Vainauskas as part of the investigation.

Both Paksas and Vainauskas deny any wrongdoing.

The European Parliament has in the past granted several requests from Lithuania’s law-enforcement bodies to strip Viktor Uspaskich, founder of the Lithuanian Labour Party, of his immunity.

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