Lithuanian parlt board decides against probe into alleged unlawful info collection

  • 2020-02-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Board of the Lithuanian Seimas on Wednesday decided there's no basis to launch a parliamentary investigation into alleged unlawful collection of information by one of the country's institutions ensuring security.

The board made the unanimous decision taking into account the protocol of the CBSD's recent closed-door sitting and its chairman Dainius Gaizauskas' document that the report of alleges unlawful collection of information proved incorrect.

"We received the CNSD's opinion which states that they questioned the prosecutor general, the head of the Special Investigation Service, and in their opinion, it’s the competence of the CNSD and they decided that it not purposeful to launch an investigation. In other words, the CNSD accepted the responsibility for such a decision," Speaker of the Seimas Viktoeas Pranckietis told journalists after the board meeting on Wednesday.

"We cannot not to trust the committee as it is elected and effective, and their decision is important for us as we had planned to turn to the CNSD ourselves," he added.

The CNSD chairman stated in the document submitted to the Board of the Seimas that during the committee meting on Tuesday, the heads of the law enforcement institutions stated that the information they had received about alleged unlawful collection of information was checked and proved incorrect, therefore, the decision was made not to launch a pre-trial investigation.

Gaizauskas also reminded to the Board of the Seimas that under the law, a temporary investigation commission is set up in case of an exceptional importance to investigate matters with major significance to the state.

"In his case, we don’t see matters of such significance," he said.

A request to launch such an investigation was last week lodged by Bakas, former chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense.

Speaking with BNS on Wednesday, Bakas called the board's decision unfounded.

"The Board of the Seimas' decision was based on the CNSD recommendation, just as the speaker of the Seimas said. In fact it's completely untrue as the committee didn’t consider such an issue and the committee did not consider such a recommendation and did not make such a decision and did not submit such a recommendation," Bakas underlined.

Last week, Bakas asked the Board of the Seimas to initiate a parliamentary investigation into "alleged unlawful interference with election processes and unlawful collection and use of information".

Bakas claims that in early 2019 when he was the CNSD chairman, he was informed that "one of the executive institutions ensuring national security is collecting information about persons without a basis provided for by laws, using the possibilities provided to the institution, and also about alleged unlawful influence on the country's internal political processes is being done."

The politician said he turned to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Special Investigation Service regarding potential criminal activity upon receipt of this information and received a response on January 29 that a pre-trial investigation would not be launched.

The Prosecutor General's Office and the Special Investigation Service refuse to comment on the responses to Bakas' request to launch a pre-trial investigation over alleged unlawful collection of information by one of the state institutions.

Bakas has not disclosed any details about which institution might have violated the law and what kind of information was allegedly collected, citing the law on the protection of whistleblowers.