Troubles of the Lithuanian prosecutor general

  • 2011-11-03
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

SURVIVOR: Prosecutor General Darius Valys is strongly supported by President Dalia Grybauskaite, and this has allowed him to stay in his post after an accident when his car hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

VILNIUS - On Oct. 25, the Lithuanian government decided to allow the heads of law-and-order institutions to be transported for their professional needs by the official cars and drivers of these institutions. In 2010, President Dalia Grybauskaite appointed Darius Valys, then a rather unknown prosecutor from the town of Naujoji Akmene, to be the Lithuanian prosecutor general. His first innovation was his initiative to refuse state-paid transport for himself. Soon after this, he was noticed by the Lithuanian media being transported to his workplace from home by a driver of the Prosecutor General’s Office in the driver’s private car.

After a little media scandal, Valys decided to drive to work himself, and had an accident on Oct. 19.
On the morning of Oct. 19, Lithuanian Prosecutor General Darius Valys hit a 58-year woman named Tatjana with his car in a crosswalk in Vilnius. Valys was driving to work. On the same day, he handed his resignation from his post to President Grybauskaite. On Oct. 21, Daiva Ulbinaite, Grybauskaite’s advisor, announced in a press conference that Grybauskaite refused to accept Valys’ resignation letter and he would stay in his post.

“He acted humanely and he took care of that woman,” Ulbinaite said, adding that Valys has plenty of work to do in continuing reforms in his office.
“I was driving just at the speed of 30-40 kilometers per hour,” Valys said in the hospital on Oct. 19. After the accident, he drove his Volvo V70 to the hospital following the ambulance. “I’m always ready to resign,” he said.
No serious injuries were registered at the hospital. “She will dance,” Dr. Michail Braverman said about the woman who was hit by Valys’ car, although the doctor added that the woman experienced “a shock.” Anyway, the woman stated that she still feels the physical pain in her legs.

According to Lithuanian police, Valys should expect a trial, and possible punishment for him could be the following: a penalty of 500-1,000 litas (145-290 euros) or a suspension of his driver’s license for 1-2 years.
It is probable that Valys will get just a fine, which would be less than what undisciplined drivers, having no accidents, get for exceeding the speed limit on the roads out of town (1,000-1,500 litas). The Lithuanian media angrily speculates that the release of his driver was the only sound reform by Valys.

This criticism goes alongside with astonishment caused by some recent decisions of prosecutors and judges in scandalous cases. Last month, Rolandas Verba, now 27, and his girlfriend Kristina Salmanovic, now 19, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison because, two years ago, they did not contradict the desire of a then-13-year-old girl to film on a mobile phone their sexual intercourse in a motel. Salmanovic and that girl kissed in lesbian fashion before that filmed sexual act, and this was qualified as the rape of a child – ‘the victim’ was willing to be a witness, defending the accused, but she had no such right in the court, according to the Paskutinioji Instancija program of Lithuanian TV3.

According to law experts talking on that TV program, the punishment with jail sentences for these two young lovers is absurd – in comparison, other jail sentences announced recently include: Mark Bisikirski got only nine years in jail for raping twice, anally, a nine-year-old parentless girl; serial rapist Artur Vasilevski got nine years in jail for assaulting and raping six young females (the youngest of them was 12 years old) in the streets and parks of Vilnius; businessman Alvydas Albrechtas got only five years in prison for killing businessman Rimantas Grainys (Albrechtas owned a big sum of money to Grainys) by ordering a criminal gang to plant a bomb under Grainys’ car in 1995.