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2019.11.07 09:50

Prosecutors take up case of former judge and MP Venckienė

BNS2019.11.07 09:50

Neringa Venckienė, a former judge and member of parliament, was brought to Lithuania on Wednesday evening after her extradition from the United States.

“Yes, we can confirm that the person is in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania,” Tomas Krušna of the Prosecutor General's Office told reporters in Vilnius.

The prosecutor added that Venckienė had arrived in Lithuania on Wednesday evening, but gave no further details.

The former judge and lawmaker fled Lithuania in 2013 and was arrested in Chicago in February 2018.

Lithuanian prosecutors sought her to be extradited to face charges of refusing to obey a court order to return her niece to her mother, molesting the child, illicitly collecting information, abusing her rights as the girl's guardian and other crimes.

However, prosecutors now intend to charge Venckienė with hitting Laimutė Stankūnaitė, the mother of her niece, in the face, hitting a police officer, refusing to obey a court order, and hindering a bailiff.

Other charges have been dropped due to differences in the Lithuanian and US legal systems.

Venckienė said the charges were politically motivated.

On Thursday, prosecutors are planning to begin procedures in Venckienė's case

“Procedural steps will be taken and decisions on a measure of restraint will be made today,” Elena Martinoniene, the prosecutor general's spokeswoman, told BNS on Thursday morning.

She gave no furhter details. Venckienė's lawyer Sonata Žukauskienė said that prosecutors were planning to question the suspect on Thursday.

According to prosecutor Krušna, the pre-trial investigation is nearing completion.

Driven by car from Warsaw

Venckienė was brought to Lithuania Wednesday night.

The suspect was flown from Chicago to Warsaw aboard a plane that landed in the Polish capital at around 15.00 Vilnius time and then driven in a police car to Lithuania, police spokesman Ramūnas Matonis told BNS.

The car crossed the Lithuanian border at around 20.00 and arrived in the Kaunas Remand Prison about two hours later.

Venckienė had been released from a Chicago jail, where she had been held since early 2018, earlier this week.