Steponavičius’ money laundering for liberals is only the tip of the iceberg

Gintaras Steponavičius
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

On April 14th, the Attorney General Evaldas Pašilis appealed to the Parliament seeking the annulment of the legal immunity of the Liberal Movement parliamentary group member Gintaras Steponavičius.

Prosecutors have published data that G. Steponavičius consulted with the concern MG Baltic board member Raimonds Kurlianskas for corporate support and a fund with the politician’s name with the Liberal Movement restrictions related to public office, ” Center for Liberty Studies”, and illegally financed the political party.

However, the General Prosecutor in the current proceeding have stated that Center for Liberty Studies and G. Steponavičius support fund of the Liberal Movement is just the tip of the iceberg. Lithuanian political parties are tied closely together with various public institutions, associations or foundations, but such links have been repeatedly cited as a political corruption scheme.

The ideological leader of liberal institutions is considered E. Gentvilas |

Last week, the General Prosecutor’s Office reported that during last year the support fund of G. Steponavičius and ” Center for Liberty Studies”, which is led by the former mayor of Kaunas Rimantas Mikaitis – a former Liberal Movement member, accounts, which were transferred to the concern MG Baltic companies funds, were used to cover the debts for the Liberal Movement and member of the Parliament activities and publicity events, as well as for the candidacy of the year 2016-2020 to the Parliament activities for publicity events. In 2016’s ” Center for Liberty Studies has received 10 thousand Euros and G. Steponavičius support fund – 5 thousand Euros. Prosecutors suspect that for G. Steponavičius voted in the Parliament for MG Baltic friendly solutions.

With the Liberal Movement is linked a public institution “Open Society and its friends ” founded in 2005 founded, whose creators were Eligijus Masiulis, who retired last year from the party for alleged acts of corruption, and ideological leader called, the current member of the Liberal Movement fractions leader Eugenijus Gentvilas. The organisation was particularly successful at a time when the Minister of education and science was G. Steponavičius. In 2009, the “Open Society and its friends” has received partial funding for the project “Lithuania’s choice”. It was implemented before the elections to the European Parliament, but the liberals at the time denied it thus increasing their popularity.

Another Liberal Movement associated with the organization is the fund “Liberal reforms”, which was set up by the initiative of E. Gentvilas. This public organization, whose main line of business was political education, appeared in 2002 before the Presidential election E.Gentvilas did not become the President, even though he was a candidate, but in 2004, when he was elected to the EP (European Parliament), he signed a service agreement with his fund.

In 2010 the Liberal Movement associated public institution for Applied Policy Institute, implementing projects covering politics, business, science and education was born as well. The founder of the organization was a self-described one of the creators of the Liberal Movement Šarūnas Gustainis, since 2009 he managed the party’s election headquarters and is currently appearing as a special witness in the MG Baltic case.

The roots of “the Farmers organizations are in Naisiai

The ”Association Naisiai community” is linked with the ruling Union of Farmers and Greens, led by Rita Žukauskienė, who participated in 2015 municipal council elections with the “Farmer” list. One of the associations’ board members is the founder of the party Ramūnas Karbauskis.

R. Karbauskio initiative born “Open Šiauliai district youth centre” is close to the “Farmers”. It’s manager Kristina Pinskienė, also sought to become a politician in the Farmers and Greens Union list two years ago. The “Open Šiauliai District Youth Center” in the midst of a Greta Kildišienė, former MP, scandal decided to cheer up R. Karbauskis – it appealed to the Šiauliai district council, offering to make the politician a honorary citizen. R. Karbauskis has denied this honouring.

One of the organization associated with the Farmers and Greens Union is the association “Lithuania tomorrow”, which is uniting young people. “It was in 2015, before the municipal council elections, established by a current Member of Parliament “peasant” Mindaugas Puidokas in Kaunas. This organization, as published in the “development and implementation of real good works” is beautifying and improving our homeland, carried out various social campaigns in Kaunas. The member of “Tomorrow Lithuanian” is elected to the Parliament under Farmer and Greens Union list Rūta Miliūtė.

The Social Democrats were silenced after the scandal

Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) since 2004, when it was mentioned in a large-scale political corruption case, so far avoided greater noise due to its friendly organizations. Steponas Kairys fund belongs with LSDP, alongside him deputy chairman of the party Juozas Olekas is also called an active member, as well as a public institution of “Institute of Social Economic Research”.
In 2001, by establishing the latter organization, Social Democrats planned that it will become an alternative to liberal Free Market Institute and publish social democratic approach to the country’s social and economic processes.

However, the actual body turned into failure: the Institute received a job in 2004 and aired allegations of corruption of the family of Vytenis Andriukaitis, currently the head of the organization is the former Vice-Minister of Health Gediminas Černiauskas. In 2014 he was forced to resign from the post, because of the publicly announced secretly taped audio where you can hear as the Vice-Minister is pressuring members of the Commission in respect of the appointment of high-ranking officials.

In the Group of Conservatives – a rich group of helpers

Parties will seek to benefit from the relevant institutions, by filling their pockets with dirty money and it came to public in 2004. At that time, the Special Investigation Service ( STT ) raided the offices in the four major political parties, took documents, searched for information about possible illicit ties with business structures and filled out their political organizations “slush funds”. In May 2003, in the STT recorded conversation of “Rubicon Group “Andrius Janukonis and the Homeland Union (now – Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the TS-LKD) representative Arvydas Vidžiūnas it is heard, when the latter asks when a businessman is going to” do the movements for conservative funds”. A.Vidžiūnas, was considered to be one of the people who took care of the mobilization of a lot of funds, he pleaded that he has asked for support, but argued that it was not for the Party, but the fund “Conservative Future”.

This organization, which is now led by conservative Vaidas Šalaševičius, and one of the founders was Andrius Kubilius, has been heard repeatedly in the capability of raising the money. For example, in a 2005 case, the opposition Homeland Union, received 57 thousand from the state budget (LTL 16.5 thousand euro) as a donation to the state budget and 624 thousand (LTL 181 thousand euros) as part of a political campaign reimbursement, announced its intention to spend 70 thousand. (LTL 20 thousand. euros) on March 11 celebrations. While analysts feared that the Conservatives will turn people mood against financing of political parties from the state budget, A. Kubilius denied, they allegedly planned to spend more money to gain the support through a public organization “Conservative Future”.

The conservatives of the party and the funding is linked to more organizations. Among those mentioned is the Democratic Policy Institute, Bank of Ideas, Modern Policy Institute, a public institution “City for a city” and others.

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