Lithuania’s new prosecutor general wants prosecutors to be shielded from too much public pressure

Evaldas Pašilis
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Pašilis said that the first thing he will do as prosecutor general is to familiarize himself with the structure, the people in the Prosecutor General’s Office. “I would not like the communication to be one-sided. It should not be just orders coming from the prosecutor general, feedback should also come to me. Maybe there are good ideas in the periphery,” he said on the Lietuvos Rytas TV programme Lietuva Tiesiogiai.

According to opinion polls, prosecutor’s offices are among the least trusted institutions. Pašilis says, however, that prosecutors should not be made to endure too much public pressure.

“I think that the Prosecutor’s Office, one of the key state institutions, should not be made to endure public pleasure while it transparently performs its duties assigned under the law and the Constitution,” Pašilis said. “There must be trust in this institution. The prosecutor must feel secure in the system.”

Pašilis said that people working in the Prosecutor’s Office could be motivated to do a better job by ensuring transparency of the system, offering possibilities of career advancement and job security.

Prosecutor General Evaldas Pašilis said, however, he would not be a reformer.

Having worked as a judge for 15 years at Ukmergė court, a provincial town in central Lithuania, Pašilis is seen as an outsider. Commenting on why the president could have nominated a relatively little-known candidate for the position, Pašilius said: “I really respect the president’s opinion. I do not know if it would be better if I lived in Vilnius or Kaunas. Many lawyers working in Vilnius are from Ukmergė. Of course, my former position is not very well known, but I do not attach too much importance to this fact. If the candidate meets the criteria, if his reputation is clean, if he has a vision that something could be changed, the fact that the person is from the periphery and completely unknown should not be the only criterion. Maybe he will become better known.”

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