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2012.11.20 09:34

Prosecutors request Seimas to lift immunity to Labour Party’s MPs

Jorge Marcano | The Lithuania Tribune2012.11.20 09:34

Despite assuming as MP for the new Seimas, legal troubles are still haunting Labour Party’s leader, Viktor Uspaskich. Today, a Vilnius court is deciding on a proposal that will strip the Labour MP and other colleagues as well from their parliamentary immunity.

Despite assuming as MP for the new Seimas, legal troubles are still haunting Labour Party’s leader, Viktor Uspaskich. Today, a Vilnius court is deciding on a proposal that will strip the Labour MP and other colleagues as well from their parliamentary immunity.

Prosecutor Saulius Verseckas commented that should parliament decide to conserve the legal immunity of the MPs, then the court could seek to proceed with the hearings but with the Labour Party as a legal entity.

In his own words, Prosecutor Verseckas said to journalists that “I am asking to make a decision to authorise the prosecutor general to appeal to the Seimas for a sanction to prosecute or otherwise restrict their freedom. The parliament’s consent is not needed for the court or the prosecutor, it is needed for parties in the proceedings to answer all their questions. I am asking to make a decision to authorise the prosecutor general to appeal to the Seimas for a sanction to prosecute or otherwise restrict their freedom,” the prosecutor described.

Furthermore, he also said that “we cannot proceed with the trial, criminal proceedings are impossible, if there is not decision to prosecute made by a competent institution. Further proceedings are impossible, if there is no decision to prosecute made by a competent institution. Further proceedings would not be possible without a Seimas’ consent to prosecute. The Seimas, first of all, hears a report from the prosecutor general,” Verseckas explained this morning.

Labour Party members Viktor Uspaskich, Vitalija Vonzutaite and Vytautas Gapsys are currently on trial for fraud. All of them agreed with the prosecutor’s opinion. Uspaskich would not make any speculations about the future vote in the Seimas regarding his situation.

The MPs alongs with the party’s former accountant, Marina Liutkeviciene and the Labour Party itself stand accused with fraud. Charges were revised on October 26th, just before the run-off vote of the Seimas elections. According to prosecution, the party allegedly failed to include 25 million litas (EUR 7.3 million) in income and about 23 million litas in spending related to property, commitments and structural changes whilst also failing to pay 4 million litas in taxes.

Since the charges were revised, the defendants face more severe punishments as the statute of limitations was extended as well. The State Tax Inspectorate has also filed a suit in the case, as they argue, they never received more than 3 million litas in taxes and fees. The Vilnius branch of Sodra (the state-run social insurance) is also claiming that 855,000 litas in insurance fees were never paid.

Lithuania Tribune