It has emerged that the Special Investigation Service‘s (STT) investigation of former Liberal Movement chairman Eligijus Masiulis and MG Baltic Vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis for suspected corruption began at least seven months before the suspicions were revealed in a search of Masiulis’ home a few weeks ago.
Delfi’s sources indicate that in September of last year, a judge at the Anykščiai regional court granted permission to secretly tap conversations involving Kurlianskis and to perform other operations. Officially, Kurlianskis was tracked since 23 September. During this time, STT officers tracked the businessman and his meetings with the politician and, when possible, recorded their conversations.
It was at these meetings that the two are said to have discussed potentially illegal deals. It is suspected that Masiulis had promised to influence public servants or politicians to make decisions beneficial for the business group in return for money. The nature of such deals is still considered secret, and it is only suspected that they would have concerned the business’ construction projects.
According to Delfi’s source, officers observed the transfer of €106,000 in cash between Masiulis and Kurlianskis. The transfer occurred on 10 May at about 16:00 in the very center of Vilnius in a parking lot near the Seimas. Handover took place in Masiulis’ automobile which had allegedly already been wiretapped.
After the alleged bribe exchange, Masiulis and Kurlianskis were not arrested. The decision to arrest them came two days later from the General Prosecutor and STT officers. At the time, searches were conducted at Masiulis’ and Kurlianskis’ homes as well as heir vehicles and workplaces.
It is suspected that officers monitored Kurlianskis and Masiulis for at least 24 hours before the transfer of the money. This would be supported by the incident on the night of 7 May during which a drunk driver crashed into a parked STT service vehicle near the Liberal Movement’s office on A. Goštauto Street in Vilnius.
News of this incident was widely reported, but it does not seem to have aroused Masiulis’ suspicions, as he allegedly accepted the bribe three days later. STT officials have refused to comment on whether the Euro bills were marked before or after Masiulis accepted them.
Delfi’s source also indicted that STT investigators were currently performing fingerprint and DNA analysis to identify whether anyone else had handled the marked bills.
Masiulis is suspected of accepting bribes, peddling influence and illegal wealth, since a total of €250,000 was found in his home during the search. He would be able to eliminate the last charge by proving the provenance of the money.
In addition to bribery and peddling influence, Kurlianskis is also suspected of dealing in state secrets which were found during the search in his home. Kurlianskis’ lawyer has said he rejects the charges. Masiulis has said that he does not agree with the charges laid against him.