Court: Borisov did indeed threaten President Paksas

  • 2005-10-19
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The Supreme Court has overruled an appeal by controversial businessman Yury Borisov, who has been attempting to prove his innocence in charges that he threatened former President Rolandas Paksas.

The court's ruling is final, putting an end to the two-year long ordeal. In 2003, it was first revealed that Borisov, a Russian citizen, had pressured Paksas, whom he supported financially during the presidential campaign, into giving him a job.

Borisov threatened to release material that would have compromised the president.

He was fined 10,000 litas (2,900 euros) for the blackmail.

Borisov never admitted his guilt and asked the court to acquit him.

The Russian, however, was not present at the Supreme Court's hearing, reportedly due to a business trip.

The Borisov-led Avia Baltika company allocated 1.2 million litas for Paksas' presidential election campaign in 2002-3.

After his inauguration, Paksas granted Borisov citizenship by decree, a power the executive has.

The Constitutional Court later ruled that granting Borisov citizenship had amounted to a reward for financial support during the election campaign and thus invalidated the citizenship.

The accusations against Borisov were based on telephone conversation records made by Lithuania's secret services, which demonstrated that Borisov had indeed threatened to publicize information that would supposedly compromise Paksas.

On April 6, 2004, Parliament stripped Paksas of his presidential powers for violating the Constitution and his oath of office.

The Supreme Court's ruling will likely serve as a basis to reopen the case of Borisov's deportation, which has been in limbo while the court's decision was pending.