MG Baltic’s Kurlianskis released from prison as CEO of Vilniaus Prekyba shareholder's firm interrogated

  • 2016-05-31

A Vilnius court has rejected the prosecutor's request to extend the remand of Raimondas Kurlianskis, vice-president of MG Baltic, one of the country's biggest business groups.

Kurlianskis, who is suspected of bribing politicians, was released from the Lukiskes prison in Vilnius on Tuesday afternoon after 20 days of detention.

The court put the businessman under house arrest for two months and banned him from having any contact with Eligijus Masiulis, a former leader of the Liberal Movement.

Prosecutor Justas Laucius, who sought a two-month extension of the remand period, said that he was considering appealing the district court's decision to the Vilnius Regional Court.

The rejection came on the same day as the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service’s (STT) interrogation of Diana Dominiene, CEO of the Lithuanian unit of Bertona Holdings Limited, as part of the suspected political bribery case.

"I cannot comment on the interrogation, however, I am convinced I have been questioned because I know Raimondas Kurlianskis; I have a personal relationship with him," Dominiene said in a press release after the interrogation.

She confirmed having been questioned as a special witness at the STT on Tuesday.

Dominiene said STT officers had searched her office, car, and home on Monday.

"I co-operated and provided them with all the information and items they requested. As far as I understood, they did not know exactly what they were looking for and did not seem to be interested in what I gave them," said the businesswoman.

Last January, Dominiene left the board of Vilniaus Prekyba, Lithuania's largest business group and operator of the Maxima chain.

The Bertona Holdings Limited company is controlled by Nerijus Numavicius, the largest shareholder of Vilniaus Prekyba.

Kurlianskis, the MG Baltic vice-president, is suspected of paying bribes to politicians Eligijus Masiulis of the Liberal Movement and the Labour Party's Vytautas Gapsys.

Kurlianskis was detained on May 12 on suspicions of bribery, influence peddling, and unlawful possession of a state secret.

Law enforcement bodies suspect that Kurlianskis gave a bribe of 106,000 euros to Masiulis, who was then a member of the Seimas and leader of the opposition Liberal Movement, and sought to influence members of the ruling Labour Party via its first vice-chairman, Vytautas Gapsys.

Kurlianskis is chairman of the management board at the Laisvas ir Nepriklausomas Kanalas Group, the operator of several TV channels, and at Alfa Media, the operator of the news portal.