VILNIUS - Suspicious real estate deals in the prestigious Vilnius suburb of Turniskes were carried out with the prior knowledge of government Chancellor Antanas Zenonas Kaminskas and Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, the director of the property management company claimed this week.
Valdas Rackys, who heads the company that manages the Turniskes property, told an ad hoc parliamentary commission on April 4 that Brazauskas, who has been living in Turniskes for decades, was aware of the loss-making facilities that were later remade into upscale houses and sold to individual residents.
Brazauskas, however, told journalists he was unaware of the Turniskes adminstrator's intentions and decisions.
"I do not know anything. This is not my field of activities. The government does not have control over the company. We have not made any decisions at the government level," Brazauskas said.
Established at President Valdas Adamkus' request, the ad hoc parliamentary commission was ordered to look into media information about residential housing construction in Turniskes, as well as examine the circumstances behind the presidential residence's mortgage and facility reconstruction.
The panel will also study the circumstances of real estate purchases by presidential advisers and other persons. Investigators will try to determine whether the actions ran counter to laws and principles of official ethics.
The commission is expected to determine the possible damage caused to the state, while identifying those state institutions, officials and individuals responsible.
A government chancellery-owned public utility company pledged a part of the property in Turniskes, including the president's residence, to a bank for funds to renovate cottages that had a hotel status. The houses were sold to private persons, including two top presidential advisers 's Edminas Bagdonas and Rytis Muraska 's who resigned amid the scandal.