VILNIUS - The beginning of September brought new revelations in the Drasius Kedys case. After those revelations became public, very few in Lithuania have doubts that Kedys was killed and prosecutors were not telling the whole truth about his death.
The Kedys story is known to everybody in Lithuania. On Oct. 5 last year, Kedys, 37, who said his young daughter (she is now six-years-old) had been the victim of pedophiles (including Andrius Usas, who mysteriously drowned in June this year), gunned down (as prosecutors officially suspect) Kaunas Judge Jonas Furmanavicius and the aunt of Kedys’ daughter. Earlier, Kedys publicly blamed both of them for being involved in the molestation.
After the double murder in Kaunas, Kedys was at large. In April, Kedys was found dead near Kaunas. A gun, which was used in the double murder, was found near Kedys’ corpse. Officials concluded that Kedys died due to vomiting caused by alcohol abuse. Kedys and Laimute Stankunaite, his former girlfriend, had a long fight over their daughter. Since the killings of Oct. 5, Kedys’ daughter has been living under the temporary custody of Judge Neringa Venckiene, who is the sister of Kedys.
In the beginning of September, Venckiene got the conclusion of independent experts, hired by her, about her brother’s death. They stated that he probably was drowned. The conclusion contradicts the earlier statements of prosecutors. According to the prosecutors, Kedys choked to death on his own vomit due to alcohol abuse. No trace of vomit was found, on Kedys’ clothes or near Kedys corpse.
In August, Venckiene studied prosecutor’s material about her brother’s death. She found contradictions in that material, and public statements by prosecutors. “I can confirm that Kedys’ DNA was on the gun,” Raimondas Petrauskas, then interim prosecutor general, stated during his press conference on April 22. However, the official material in the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the Kedys case states that it is impossible to identify DNA on the gun.
Venckiene made more mysterious findings after studying the prosecutors’ material on her brother’s death. A piece of chocolate and a bottle of vodka, filled with water, were found near Kedys’ corpse when his body was found by a scout chief near the Kaunas lagoon back in April. Now it appears that Kedys’ DNA was not found on the vodka bottle. No chocolate was found in Kedys’ stomach. Typical hospital food, potatoes and peas, were found in his stomach, which increases speculation that Kedys could have been secretly jailed in a psychiatric hospital near Kaunas. Forensic experts in Munich also wrote to Lithuanian prosecutors that they, by studying Kedys’ hair, found nine sorts of psychotropic drugs, used in psychiatric hospitals.
The wife of Usas, immediately after his death, stated that her husband was killed. According to the official version, Usas drowned, being drunk in some 40 centimeters of swamp water in the Alytus region. Now Usas’ wife keeps complete silence. Venckiene believes that Usas was killed as well. She suggests that he could have blackmailed high-ranking officials who possibly defended him. According to journalist Ruta Janutiene, Usas could have been involved in regular illegal cigarette smuggling into the UK on a large scale, and this dirty business could involve some heads of the Lithuanian financial police who recently resigned from their posts.
Last week, Lithuanian TV3 showed an interview with Stanislovas Stulpinas, the retired prosecutor. He stated his own version of events. According to Stulpinas, pedophilia cases are nothing extraordinary in prosecutors’ work: each year over 100 pedophilia-related cases reach the courts in Lithuania. However, this case was special because Usas was “possibly an agent of the State Security Department.” Stulpinas used “possibly” everywhere in his interview to avoid a legal case against him. According to Stulpinas, if former Prosecutor General Algimantas Valantinas would not have created obstacles to the investigation of Kedys’ complaints regarding possible molestation of Kedys’ daughter, the case would have been solved quickly and there would be no deaths of these four persons. Stulpinas suggested that Judge Furmanavicius and the aunt of Kedys’ daughter were not necessarily killed by Kedys – those two could be troublemaking witnesses in the case.
Meanwhile, the Kedys movement gets some power. Protesting against the strange work of the prosecutors, people with violet flags, violet T-shirts and baseball caps demonstrate from time to time in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Presidential Palace. Violet is their color because Kedys was wearing a violet sweater in his best known photo. The police used that photo in announcements searching for him when he was at large. The violet movement tries to prevent the return of Kedys’ daughter to her biological mother - the movement members express their fear that the girl could be killed then as a witness, who is dangerous to the ‘pedophile elite.’ On Sept. 4, several hundred people gathered with violet flags and portraits of Kedys (which are better known than Che Guevara in Lithuania) in the central square of Kaunas to commemorate the 38th birthday of Kedys.
On Sept. 3, the Vilnius court started its hearings in the case of Marius Kuprevicius, who supposedly made threats on Facebook to Edita Ziobiene, ombudsman of children’s rights. Ziobiene states that Kuprevicius, who is one of the leaders of the violet movement, accused her in his message that she is trying to return Kedys’ daughter to Stankunaite.
“The message was not nice and had such verbs as ‘you’ll disappear’ and ‘I’ll punish’,” Ziobiene said.
Kuprevicius denies making such statements. “Prosecutors lost to my lawyers like Spain lost to Lithuania,” Kuprevicius said after the first day of hearings, comparing the trial with the current World Basketball Championship. If the court finds Kuprevicius guilty of making such threats, he can get up to half-a-year imprisonment.