Lietuva in brief - 2009-07-15

  • 2009-07-15
The Prosecutor General's Office addressed the European Parliament (EP) on July 14, requesting it to abolish immunity recently elected EP member Viktor Uspaskich. Since Uspaskich became a member of the EP, he acquired immunity that had been previously revoked by the Lithuanian parliament as per the prosecutors' request. The suspension of immunity is necessary so the Prosecutor General's Office can continue its investigation of the case. The most serious crime that Uspaskich is accused of is a tax fraud.

Lithuania plans to increase compensation packages paid to the Jewish community for property expropriated during Nazi and Soviet occupation from 113 million litas (32.73 million euros) to 130 million litas. This comes after adding two expropriated buildings in Vilnius that were not included in the original calculation 's a museum on Pylimo Street and a library on Zemaitijos Street.  The compensation is scheduled to be paid at the start of 2012 and will be spread over 10 years. The plan is approved by the government, said the Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius on July 13, and will be considered by the Lithuanian parliament in autumn.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has approved of Andrius Kubilius as the Prime Minister and suggested he takes a personal responsibility in forming the 15th government of the Republic. Grybauskaite has been seeing the ministers to see whether she can approve the Cabinet in its present composition or if some ministers must be replaced. The Minister of Social Security and Labor, Raimundas Dagys, was reported to receive the worst criticism so far. The composition of the Cabinet was set to be clarified a few days after TBT went to print.

Lithuanian police reported that video posted on the Internet that depicts masked teenagers exploding a human-sized doll has helped to identify the criminals accused of an explosion in Kaunas' fort last year. The explosion in First Fort of the Kaunas Castle injured a 9-year-old girl, who came to the castle on a school excursion and faced an explosion that resulted in a loss of her foot. The police have identified a group of local teenagers highly interested in explosive materials. The number of the suspects will soon reach 10. The video depicts the masked teenagers making 62 kilograms of explosives.

Lithuania took over the biennial chairmanship of the Community of Democracies from Portugal on July 12 in Lisbon. The Community of Democracies is an intergovernmental structure, based on the Charter of the United Nation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprised of over 100 countries. The goal of the organization is to strengthen and deepen democratic norms and practices worldwide. Lithuania's key priorities of the chairmanship are that the countries of the Community of Democracies have to set a visible and active example of democracy and to lend support, to involve as many governments into this movement as possible, as well as representatives from the academic community and civil society from all regions of the world.