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2020.02.26 11:01

Lithuania's Kaunas sacks police chief after security concerns

BNS2020.02.26 11:01

Darius Žukauskas, the chief of Kaunas police, was fired after losing the right to work with classified information, the Police Department said on Wednesday.

"Having been stripped of permission to work with classified information, Žukauskas is dismissed from the police service as of today," the Police Department said.

Read more: Kaunas police chief suspended in corruption probe calls accusations against him 'inadequate'

An internal investigation was launched into Žukauskas' contacts during a pre-trial investigation involving Kaunas police officer Donatas Karaliukas. The latter is suspected of taking more than 10,000 euros in bribe and protecting an illegal business.

The internal investigation concluded that Žukauskas' ties with certain unnamed people raise reasonable doubts about his reliability and the possibility for him to continue working with classified information.

The investigation focused on Žukauskas' ability to continue working with classified information, and wasn't related to any crime or offence.

Žukauskas can still appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, the Police Department is continuing an internal investigation into Žukauskas and another former police officer. Both no longer work for the police.

The Lietuvos Rytas daily reported earlier that Giedrius Skladas, the then-chief of the organised crime investigation unit at the Kaunas police, and Žukauskas, who was on paternal leave at the time, and a lawyer arrived at a Tenerife villa that belonged to now diseased businessman Raimondas Karpavičius.

They then demanded that the people who were staying there leave the villa.

The daily noted that the fight for the then already gravely sick businessman's inheritance was already underway. The Spanish police was called to the scene after the Lithuanian trio arrived at the villa.

Elanas Jablonskas, chief of the Lithuanian Police Immunity Boards, is now the acting chief of Kaunas County Police.

Žukauskas previously called the allegations inadequate and unfounded.