Lithuanian Farmer and Greens Union (LVŽS) leader Ramūnas Karbauskis claims he has heard that the Seimas National Security and Defence Committee investigation over business and politicians’ links could also feature a former member of his Seimas group – Povilas Urbšys.
“From what I have heard, (I have certainly not read the material) one name that could be mentioned there, which was linked to our group, is P. Urbšys,” R. Karbauskis stated at a Delfi conference, applauding that Urbšys chose to withdraw from the LVŽS group.
He states he has not read the investigative material, however apparently “it is no secret that MP P. Urbšys maintained constant contact with T. Dapkus.”
VSD specifies. Dapkus as the chief acting representative of MG Baltic in seeking to influence construction and infrastructure projects in institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Justice, Prison Department, Centre of Registers. Special services suspect that T. Dapkus also participated in seeking to influence courts, the State Tax Inspectorate and other institutions and processes.
Does not deny contact with Dapkus
P. Urbšys does not deny maintaining contact with T. Dapkus.
“Yes, I met T. Dapkus at the Seimas café today as well. I view him primarily as a journalist, who one way or another has the right to gather information as a journalist and inform both MPs and other state officers about information he has gathered,” the MP said, noting that he does not view the journalist as a criminal and that they have been acquainted since his time at the Special Investigation Service (STT).
The politician describes T. Dapkus as a principled journalist, who provides information linked with a lack of transparency in certain spheres. P. Urbšys finds it curious, where his name could be found in the investigative material and how based on it his links to T. Dapkus could be interpreted as clashing with public interest, suggesting that the investigation may not be objective.
“If T. Dapkus provided information about how the e-health project lacks transparency. In this case, I take it as a journalist’s information, which matches the public interest. If he provides information on, say, a vulnerability in the candidate to the post of prosecutor general and this vulnerability is useful so that the president would have pocket prosecutors, I think it matches public interest for this to not be the case.
When the president publically stated that she has information that candidate judge Dambrauskienė was offered to have the post bought out, I specifically called upon the court three times then to make both the prosecutors and the STT to perform an investigation. Because to me it is truly important, whether I was not used. But unfortunately I must admit that the investigation was not commenced.
Equally the same if we talk about R. Karbauskis – where is the difference, I said, if there is doubt, let us not fear transparency. In this case, R. Karbauskis fears the formation of a commission linked with Agrokoncernas business interests. I as a member of Seimas do not fear the investigation. On the contrary, I wish to be questioned in that investigation so I could answer all questions.
But what I am seeing is that I have been stripped of the opportunity to present my position. A pre-made blacklist has been formed and T. Dapkus has been made into a Lithuanian Bin Laden and if you’ve interacted with him that means you are on the blacklist. Supposedly, through you MG Baltic could have taken over the state. I’m sorry, but if these are the sort of investigations that are ongoing, then we can believe that the parliamentary investigation, which described the Conservative party as terrorist is also justified,” P. Urbšys stated.
The politician recounts how T. Dapkus would present him with information verbally and in writing on various issues such as the corruption of the e-health project. “For example he informed me that (Evaldas) Pašilis, who now as it turned out was negotiated with MG Baltic, after a few weeks he appointed none other than lawyer Giedrius Danėlius as his deputy to curate corruption investigations, someone linked with (Daiva) Ulbinaitė‘s case and presented information to me that he is linked to MG Baltic. Somehow that entry of T. Dapkus informing me that E. Pašilis wishes to appoint an individual linked to D. Ulbinaitė’s case and MG Baltic is not featured,” P. Urbšys said.
When queried on whether it is normal practice for journalists to present information to individual MPs, the former “Farmer” group member explained he finds it to be normal, that the goal of journalism is to direct decision making toward increased transparency. The politician believes that T. Dapkus is being supressed and emphasises his belief that there is no issue with journalists directly informing individual policy makers of issues, rather than publically disclosing information, stating that, “If you wish to lower journalists to such a level, place them in such pens, then you will have controlled democracy, the sort that is successfully thriving in Putin’s Russia.”
In terms of his own potential links to the business world, P. Urbšys claims he himself would be curious to find out more, having never personally maintained any contact with D. Mockus or R. Kurlianskis. The politician points out how at one point there was a conflict between President Grybauskaitė and the then Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, during which the then FNTT head Vitalijus Gailius was accused of links to MG Baltic.
“This accusation was based on him interacting with A. Kubilius’ advisors, who interacted with MG Baltic media representatives. In such a case I could also be linked (because I did not turn away from V. Gailius back then), that I am also related to MG Baltic.
But that is only one matter. Now conclusions are being made where the opportunity for people, who appear in various conversations, to express their opinion has been stripped. What sort of investigation is this then? This is no investigation,” P. Urbšys concluded.