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2019.04.05 17:18

Lithuanian journalists continue seeking recording from cabinet meeting

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS 2019.04.05 17:18

Journalists in Lithuania continue their effort to get the audio recording of a Cabinet meeting. On Friday, they appealed a court ruling to Lithuania's Supreme Administrative Court.

“Yes, the appeal has been lodged with the court. The clients do not agree with the ruling of the court of lower instance since the public has the right to know what decisions a state institution makes and receive information about its activity," Kęstutis Švirinas, the lawyer representing the media, told BNS Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Journalists' Union (LŽS) and journalists from several media outlets sued the government after it refused to release the audio recording of a Cabinet meeting.

In the meeting on October 3, 2018, government ministers discussed legislative amendments to give the media free access to registry data.

Journalists disagree with the ruling of the Regional Administrative Court of Vilnius that the meeting's minutes contain enough information for the public.

“In my opinion, it's not enough as the minutes do not contain information on what they analyzed, what positions and statements they made,” the lawyer says.

Journalists who appealed the ruling believe that the provision of information might only be restricted in exceptional cases provided for by the law, that is, when it has to do with state secrets or personal information, Švirinas says. The government meeting in question did not cover these issues.

Following the row with the media, the government initiated amendments to make all Cabinet meetings public. These amendments came into force in January.