Lithuanian president rejects SSD commission' 'untrue' findings

  • 2024-03-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

SIRVINTOS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has rejected the conclusions of the parliamentary commission that investigated the State Security Department whistleblower's case.

"I absolutely reject them as they are untrue," he told reporters in Sirvintos on Wednesday.

The Seimas commission concluded earlier this week that SSD director Darius Jauniskis had assisted Nauseda in gathering intelligence information on his team members and supporters. And it also found that the list of these persons was given to the intelligence service by Nauseda himself or it was done by his order.

For his part, the president reiterated that he did not ask the SSD to gather information on his inner circle.

"Why are you asking this question? This question was answered long ago. The commission has not established anything new on this issue, only the same truth that was told before: I could not give any tasks to anyone as I was an ordinary citizen, an unemployed Gitanas Nauseda who decided to run for president," the president said, adding that he has "very serious doubts" about the commission findings.


The conclusions state, among other things, that Nauseda's refusal to testify before the commission is incompatible with his oath of office. However, the president said once again that when he received the questions, commission chairman Vytautas Bakas said the conclusions were already being written.

"This implies that the commission had already drawn its own conclusions and that these conclusions were probably known from the very start," the president said, adding that the parliamentary commission was set up "with the aim of discrediting".

Nauseda also lamented the fact that the Special Investigation Service, the SSD and the Prosecutor' General's Office had become "hostages of this political farce".

He compared the latest commission to the commission set up about five years ago to investigate the causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and its management in Lithuania.

"It was also set up a few months before the election. And Ingrida Simonyte seemed to be one of its targets. (...) It seems that this political force, the ruling coalition, came in trying to say that they would do things differently, but they are doing exactly the same thing as the previous government was doing five years ago. It is a pity. Our political culture is stamping its feet," the president said.


The commission also found that SIS chief Linas Pernavas had abused his official position by failing to provide data to lawmakers, and it also concluded that Jauniskis had provided misleading information, which both of them deny.

The commission unanimously approved its findings, but no opposition members were involved in the commissions work, except Bakas, representing the opposition Democrats "For Lithuania".

For this reason, the president believes that the commission is politically motivated and that "Bakas was used to give it at least some legitimacy".

"Who was Mr. Bakas? Five years ago, Mr. Bakas was the chief of election HQ of my rival Saulius Skvernelis," Nauseda pointed out, adding that Bakas is probably trying to square accounts.

"This commission has nothing to do with the desire to find the objective truth," Nauseda said and called the commission's proposal to "assess the appropriateness of the institute of criminal intelligence" dangerous.


The commission also claims to have received evidence of contacts between Nauseda and his team and persons linked to the Belarusian fertilizer business.

Published last year, the book The Whistleblower and the President, alleged that brothers Andrius and Vilius Nikitinas, who were part of Nauseda's inner circle, had links to this business.

The commission also claims that some high-ranking officials from the presidential office met with representatives of the Belarusian fertilizer business, but they withheld this information when testifying before the commission. The commission vows to refer such testimonies to the Prosecutor General's Office.

The Seimas investigators also concluded that in June 2021, when Lithuania's position on the introduction of sanctions against Belarusian fertilizers was being shaped at the European Council, Nauseda actively sought through his advisors to ensure that the sanctions were not applied. Eventually, sanctions on Belarusian fertilizers were imposed by both the EU and the United States, and their transit through Lithuania was stopped.

"I have not communicated with the Nikitinas brothers. If I understand correctly, there was some confirmed or unconfirmed fact about one of my team members, but that team member was no longer working at the presidential office when we were discussing the sanction issue," Nauseda stated.

Commenting on the European negotiations on restrictions for Russia and Belarus, Nauseda said he was fighting "until blood".

"Both regarding fertilizers and other goods. It is unfair, to say the least, to hear such reproaches from members of the Seimas who, at best, wrote resolutions, to a man who himself was directly involved in the meetings where decisions were made and who tried to introduce the most stringent sanction regime," he said.

The commission's conclusions have yet to be approved by the full parliament. The ruling block is pooling support for such a decision, and part of the coalition is counting on opposition votes.