Prosecutor general resigns

  • 2010-02-10
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

JUST A WEEK AGO: On Jan. 27, President Dalia Grybauskaite and Prosecutor General Algimantas Valantinas met to discuss hot issues of the prosecutors’ work. After the meeting, the president’s spokesman said that Valantinas can continue his work. However, on Feb. 5, Valantinas resigned from his post after street demonstrations protesting against his work on the alleged pedophilia case.

VILNIUS - On Feb. 5, Prosecutor General Algimantas Valantinas decided to quit his job. He decided not to stand in the way of an unruly mob. The resignation was announced after a street protest over the so-called pedophilia case, about which the majority of the population has no clue, and at the same time has decisive and fanatic judgment, which is being inspired by tabloidish media and populist politicians.

n the Dostoyevsky-style case, Drasius Kedys, who says his young daughter has been the victim of pedophiles, gunned down a Kaunas judge and his daughter’s aunt in October last year and remains at large. Now the alleged pedophilia case goes to court. Prosecutors say there is no evidence of child molestation in the case, except for video ‘confessions’ of Kedys’ daughter which were made and staged by Kedys himself. It seems that the case goes to court only because of pressure from public opinion and politicians who are trying to please Kedys’ fans, also known by the newly-invented Lithuanian word ‘kedophiles.’
On the other hand, the lawyers and politicians expressed their rightful disgust in the longish procedures of Kaunas prosecutors, which allowed the boiling, for months, of the alleged pedophilia scandal which resulted in the double murder.

On the same day, President Dalia Grybauskaite accepted the resignation. Very few have doubts that the president forced Valantinas to resign. Grybauskaite could lose her high ratings in public opinion surveys if she would keep Valantinas in his post. There were also some other serious moral issues for Valantinas apart from the schizophrenic ‘pedophilia’ story - Stase Joksiene, Valantinas’ sister and bookkeeper at the company Samanele, is suspected of financial wrongdoings and should be questioned by prosecutors. The case of Joksiene was foot-dragged for a couple of years.

“In case some wrongdoing has been done, that person should take responsibility,” Valantinas said, answering in his typically calm and slightly arrogant way to a question about his sister during his press conference in the Prosecutor General Office on Feb. 5.

“It is a well-timed step. In current circumstances, the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office became an obstacle for the work of the Prosecutor General’s Office itself,” Grybauskaite said in her usual Putin-style speaking manner used for the domestic market – she is softer when talking to a foreign audience) during her short briefing at the Vilnius Picture Gallery on Feb. 5. She also said that both of Valantinas’ deputies should not stay in their posts.

The resignation of Valantinas must be confirmed by the parliament. Its decision is expected to be made on Feb. 11.