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2019.10.23 10:00

Amendment on spy swap pushes its way through Lithuanian parliament

Sniegė Balčiūnaitė, BNS2019.10.23 10:00

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, gave its initial backing on Tuesday to a Penal Code amendment detailing the president's right to pardon persons convicted for spying.

73 MPs voted in favor of it, 17 abstained, and the bill needs one more vote to become a law. The next sitting is scheduled for November 7.

Sources told BNS the bill was related to the planned Lithuania-Russian-Norwegian exchange of persons serving prison terms.

Read more: Moscow to return Norwegian citizen in Lithuania-Russia spy swap

Dainius Gaižauskas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence, who is behind the initiative, says the law needs to clearly define the president's right to pardon when the case involves bilateral agreements.

However, some legal experts say the amendment is excessiv, as the law already allows the president to pardon a convict.

Read more: Secrecy shrouds 'unprecedented' spy swap between Russia and Lithuania