VILNIUS – The three lawmakers suspected of accepting bribes testified to an ad hoc parliamentary commission on Saturday, providing "highly solid" argumentation, according to the commission's chairman.
Algimantas Salamakinas, chairman of an ad hoc parliamentary commission, told journalists that the discussion with the three lawmakers, which lasted almost five hours, was "sincere" and "constructive."
"They denied what has been told by prosecutors," said Salamakinas. "Their argumentation is highly solid."
The three MPs – Social Democrat Vytenis Andriukaitis, Social Liberal Vytautas Kvietkauskas and Conservative Arvydas Vidziunas – were accused by prosecutors of accepting bribes from the Rubicon Group. Deputy Prosecutor General Gintaras Jasaitis told Parliament last week that Andriukaitis accepted a 95,000 litas (27,500 euro) bribe, while Kvietkauskas accepted 25,000 litas and Vidziunas 40,000 litas for their help in adopting various laws on the parliamentary and municipal level. Prosecutors asked Parliament to force the three to step down and to allow investigators to pursue the case.
"As chairman of the commission on ethics and procedures, I do not think they should step down," he added.
On Friday the ad hoc commission received the evidence collected by the law enforcement including the secret recordings of their telephone conversations. The panel should present its conclusion by Tuesday concerning prosecutors' request.