Lithuania’s Labour Party preparing for leadership vote as its founder likely to lose legal immunity

Loreta Graužinienė, Viktor Uspaskich
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Member of the Labour Party, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Loreta Graužinienė says that the EP’s decision will not affect the party’s activities.

“The EP must decide. For me it is really difficult to evaluate because I am not aware what was discussed and what findings will be provided. Decisions of a committee are often passed by MEPs. So we will be waiting for the committee’s decision,” Graužinienė told the radio Žiniu Radijas on Wednesday.

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Uspaskich’s immunity was once previously lifted when he was facing charges of fraud and organising fraudulent bookkeeping. Now he is being investigated for contempt of court.

Asked whether Uspakich losing immunity from prosecution would affect the Labour Party, Graužinienė replied that it would not hamper its activities.

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“The party is working, preparing for a congress, election of a new chairman of the party. This will not hinder our activities,” said Graužinienė.

In 2013 Lithuanian prosecutors launched a pre-trial investigation over the Labour Party founder Viktor Uspaskich’s statements about judges who were hearing his case. Uspaskich called the judges criminals and cowards.

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In late March 2015, the EP revoked the legal immunity of Uspaskich in the fraud and fraudulent bookkeeping case. The Court of Appeals will return to this case in May. Uspaskich has denied the allegations.

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