News2019.07.31 12:00

Four senior judges could face impeachment in Lithuania

Lithuanian lawmakers say they are about to finish collecting signatures in order to launch impeachment proceedings against several judges suspected of corruption.

Members of the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, propose impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court judge Egidijus Laužikas and three Court of Appeals judges: Valdimaras Bavejanas, Viktoras Kazys and Konstantin Gurin.

“Today we have drafted the proposal and are initiating the process of constitutional liability,” MP Vytautas Bakas told journalists on Wednesday.

In his words, the judges breached “not only the Constitution, in our opinion, but also the judicial laws” and “grossly violated” the judicial ethics code.

Irena Haase, MP of the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, said that the judges abused their authority and official position, received illegal financial benefit, mixed up public and private interests, violated professional ethics and other principles.

The politicians said they are about to finish collecting the necessary 36 signatures to launch impeachment procedures, with representatives of all political groups in the parliament having signed under the proposal.

President Gitanas Nausėda has also initiated the dismissal of Laužikas, Bavejanas and Gurin.

Read more: Lithuanian President to sack senior judge suspected in major corruption case

Besides these three judges, another four – Henrich Jaglinski of Vilnius Regional Court, Robertas Rainys of Vilnius City District Court, Arūnas Kaminskas of Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, and Gintaras Čekanauskas of Kaunas District Administrative Court – are also suspected of corruption.

Six lawyers are also named as suspects in the same case. In all, 48 people are suspected of various crimes in this case involving around 110 criminal acts.

Investigators believe that the judges could have offered and paid bribes ranging from €1,000 to 100,000 in exchange for favourable rulings. The total amount of bribes could amount to €400,000, based on evidence collected during the pre-trial investigation.

Some of the suspects have denied their guilt in public.

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