Lithuanian president calls on Bakas not to escalate situation as there was no offence

  • 2020-02-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has called on MP Vytautas Bakas not to further exacerbate the situation by escalating the issue of alleged unlawful collection of information by one of the country's institutions ensuring security.

The president claims to have discussed the situation with the heads of the Special Investigation Service and the Prosecutor General's Office and is convinced "there definitely no offence".

"I have met with both the SIS director and the prosecutor general and looked into that situation, and I am well informed about the nature of it, and my conclusion is that those decisions that have been made are correct. I have in mind both the decision by the committee (the Committee on National Security and Defense – BNS) and today's decision of the board (The Board of the Seimas – BNS)," Nauseda told journalists in Kazlu Ruda, southwestern Lithuania, on Wednesday.

"There's definitely no offence and there's no need to exacerbate the situation where there's no reasons to do so, all the more so, there's need to do that for some political reasons," the head of state said.

Earlier in the day, the Board of the Lithuanian Seimas decided there's no basis to launch a parliamentary investigation into Bakas' claim about 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.

Commenting on the situation, the president said the situation cannot be discussed in public.

"There was some concern, certain provision of information which does not show and prove to be an offence as there are no key elements of an offence. I believe decisions have been made already, and all services can continue work calmly all of them have done their duty already," the president said.

Last week, Bakas, former chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, asked the Board of the Seimas to initiate a temporary investigation commission "over alleged unlawful interference with election processes, unlawful collection and use of information".

Before the Board of the Seimas made the decision, the CNSD held a meeting on Tuesday and discussed the situation with Zydrunas Bartkus, head of the Special Investigation Service, and Prosecutor General Evaldas Pasilis.

The CNSD's chairman Dainius Gaizauskas told journalists after the meeting that Bakas' report of alleged unlawful collection of information by one of the country's institutions ensuring security proved incorrect.

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.

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.

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.