A corruption scheme in investigating financial crimes has been revealed

Last updated: 2020-05-15 10:33
A corruption scheme in investigating financial crimes has been revealed

The Prosecutor General's Office (hereinafter – GPO) and the Special Investigation Service (hereinafter – STT) in co-operation with the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior (hereinafter – FNTT) are conducting a pre-trial investigation with regard to alleged criminal offences of trading in influence, active and passive bribery and abuse of office.

Two prosecutors of the Criminal Prosecution Department of the GPO, prosecutor of the 2nd Prosecution Division of the Kaunas Regional Prosecutor's Office, chief investigator of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Vilnius Regional Board of the FNTT, lawyer practicing in Kaunas and 6 other private persons are suspected of criminal offences of corrupt nature in this pre-trial investigation.

On Tuesday searches at the homes, workplaces of suspects and elsewhere in Vilnius and Kaunas, as well as other necessary procedural actions were performed. Abovementioned prosecutors and the chief investigator are currently removed from their office. On Thursday the court ordered pre-trial detention between 7 and 10 days of the suspected prosecutors and lawyer.

This pre-trial investigation was initiated following the information that the prosecutors and the FNTT official, acting independently of each other, have been meeting informally with the abovementioned lawyer and discussing the progress of the pre-trial investigations of financial crimes at their disposal, including undisclosed data and possibilities to take procedural decisions in the interest of private individuals, who are unofficially represented by this lawyer. Material or other benefit was sought allegedly in some cases.

It is alleged that such discussions by the suspects may have been carried out also in criminal cases that received particular public attention, such as misappropriations in bank “Ūkio bankas”, some credit unions and in other cases of financial and economic nature. The pre-trial investigation is in progress and the current scope of the investigation and number of suspects might change in the nearest future.

A thorough review of pre-trial investigations, which have been under control of suspected prosecutors, is initiated under the order of the Prosecutor General with a view to assess the validity and legality of the decisions taken by these suspects. For preventive purposes, some ongoing and completed pre-trial investigations of various financial and economic crimes will also be inspected.

In view of this unprecedented situation, some of the on-going pre-trial investigations will be rotated among prosecutors, who organise or control them. A review and corrections of the specializations of the prosecutors is also being planned in the nearest future.

Article 12(3) of the Law on the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Lithuania provides that only Prosecutor General may initiate a pre-trial investigation of a criminal offence committed by a prosecutor.