Lithuanian prosecutors ask European Parliament to strip Paksas of immunity

Rolandas Paksas
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Paksas is suspected of influence peddling according to Lithuanian prosecutors.

“We have already signed the appeal [to the European Parliament],” prosecutor Irmantas Mikelionis of the Organized Crime and Corruption Department at the Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed on Thursday morning.

Paksas, however, believes that the request is part of an attempt to delay the implementation of the European Court of Human Rightsdecision, which has ruled that the restrictions in place in Lithuania that prevent Paksas from running should not exist.

“I understand perfectly that the game was not started so that I would remain a witness or special witness, but so that the process could be dragged out, publicised, and shown to a wider audience, in this case to the European Parliament,” Paksas told BNS. “The deadline is 15 July. Lithuania must present a report and explain what’s been done in an attempt to implement the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights’ decision… I believe that, on the one hand, it’s related to the fact that the current government, which is trying to avoid those decisions, is playing this ace, that they’re trying to declare certain suspicions.”

The prosecutors are conducting an investigation into suspected influence trading, which involves Gedvydas Vainauskas, the head of the Lietuvos Rytas media group, and the supermarket chain Norfa.

Vainauskas allegedly approached Paksas about influencing inspectors at the Ministry of the Environment to speed up permissions to use a supermarket building in Prienai.

Charges have already been brought against Vainauskas. Both he and Paksas have rejected the allegations.

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