Eligijus Masiulis, the former leader of Lithuania's Liberal Movement accused of taking a large bribe from MG Baltic, claims the country's former President Dalia Grybauskaitė asked him for positive coverage by the corporation-controlled media.
The trial involving MG Baltic is the largest corruption case in Lithuania's post-independence history. The investigation implicates the Liberal Movement, the Labour Party, as well as other officials and business representatives.
Masiulis says the president's request should have been audible in the December 31, 2015 sound recording played during the hearing in Vilnius Regional Court on Wednesday, but claims that part of the conversation is missing.
"There was a request that Grybauskaitė [...] would like to have more positive coverage by the group's TV channels. I had personally received the request from Madame President and just handed [it] over," Masiulis told journalists.
The political situation was tense at that time and the president was strongly criticized by the then ruling social democrats, he added.
Masiulis wants "all evidence to appear in the case for the sake of its objectivity" and also for Grybauskaitė to testify in court.
Masiulis claims law enforcement officers found the emails he exchanged with the president, but were deleted when the confiscated computer was returned. He also said that he will "find a way to save these emails anyway," adding that he received more than one request from the former president.