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2021.06.10 14:51

Assistant to Lithuanian MP detained in corruption probe amid alleged scuffle in parliament

BNS2021.06.10 14:51

Kęstutis Motiečius, an assistant to MP Mindaugas Puidokas, was detained on Thursday amid suspicions of bribery and influence peddling.

Lithuania’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Special Investigation Service (STT), launched the pre-trial investigation after being informed by MP Matas Maldeikis of an attempt to bribe him.

According to the STT, Motiečius approached Maldeikis in the parliament offering him a 50,000-euro bribe and asking, in exchange, to support an initiative to suspend or postpone indefinitely the adoption of amendments to the Law on Lottery and Gaming Tax and try to convince other MPs to do the same.

The STT reported about the pre-trial investigation shortly after Puidokas told the Seimas that he had suffered violence at the hands of the law enforcement agents.

Puidokas claimed that officers entering his office grabbed him by the throat and also tore his clothes. The MP also accused officers of taking his personal belongings by force and said that his lawyer has recorded the incident.

“This incident has no precedent in the history of Lithuania’s parliamentarianism: I suffered violence at the hands of STT agents in my office,” Puidokas said.

“I do not have any legal status – I am neither a witness, nor a suspect. However, they took my personal belongings by force, scratched my hands bloody. I was short of breath, said that I can’t breathe, but they continued strangling me and did not stop,” he said.

STT admitted that its officers had to use force to take the MP's phones as he refused to hand them over.

Deputy Prosecutor General Gintas Ivanauskas, summoned to the Seimas after the incident, said the service would carry out an internal investigation.

"We should wait and the officers who are taking action should provide explanations as to how everything happened. As far as I understand, only the MP's position has been expressed," the prosecutor said.

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