Lietuva in brief - 2011-07-14

  • 2011-07-13

A Lithuanian prosecutor called Friday for a 16-year jail term for an Irishman charged with attempting to smuggle arms from the Baltic State to dissident paramilitary group, the Real IRA, reports AFP. Prosecutor Gedgaudas Norkunas asked a court in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to convict Michael Campbell for attempted smuggling, supporting a terrorist group and illegal possession of weapons. Campbell, 38, showed little reaction. As he was taken from court, reporters asked if he was innocent. “Of course,” he responded. Campbell’s team is to present his final defense in mid-September. A verdict is expected later this year. He was arrested in January 2008 in Vilnius as he met a Lithuanian agent who posed as an arms dealer. At a hearing in May this year he admitted purchasing weapons but denied plotting to help the Real Irish Republican Army, led by his elder brother. The Real IRA broke with the Provisional IRA - once the main armed group opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland - in 1997 over the latter’s support for a peace deal with London.

President Dalia Grybauskaite says she is not satisfied with the government’s work, mostly with the environment and energy ministers. “I would think that no Cabinet will ever be able to satisfy our expectations completely, because they are great, while there are a lot of tasks and challenges to be addressed,” the president on July 6 told the LTV program Teise Zinoti. The president considers the environmental protection sector to be the weakest as it has become a hostage to coalition partners. She recalled that Lithuania would most probably have to pay penalties for infringement to the European Union. The president said she missed speed and results in the energy sector. She gave a liquefied natural gas terminal as an example, saying that there had been talks about it for three years, but “no shovel has been dug in.” She added that “There are many projects, many intermediate processes, everything in process, but in fact there are delays and I clearly name it as one of the weaker areas of the government’s work.”