VILNIUS – Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office said on Friday it had launched a pre-trial investigation into The International Forum of Good Neighborhood, founded by Algirdas Paleckis, a controversial Lithuanian figure who is serving a prison term for spying for Russia.
The investigation is being carried out under Criminal Code's article that provides for liability for aiding another state to act against Lithuania.
The probe will be carried out by officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau and will be organized by prosecutors from the Prosecutor General's Office's Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Department.
Speaking with BNS on Friday, Paleckis' associate Erika Svencioniene, who leads the association, refrained to comment on the investigation, saying that she would provide comment during a press conference on Monday.
In mid-July, prosecutors from the Prosecutor General's Office's Division of Protection of the Public Interest started, on their own initiative, collecting information on the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the association.
Earlier this week, Lithuania's State Security Department handed over information on the activities of the association's representatives to the institutions carrying out pre-trial investigations. The SSD states that their activities constitute a threat to the state's national.
Last week, four representatives of the association visited Moscow and met with representatives of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in Moscow and held a press conference that was attended by Erika Svencioniene, the head of the organization, Darius Norkus, the former director of Vilniaus Vandenys (Vilnius Waters), the water provider in Vilnius, who had been convicted for corruption, as well as Edikas Jagelavicius and Mindaugas Ramoska.
They claimed that the goal of their trip to Moscow was to break the information blockade and to ask for a visa-free regime to Kaliningrad for Lithuanian citizens.
In addition, Svencioniene questioned the legitimacy of the election of the incumbent Lithuanian government, accused it of causing economic damage and scaring its citizens about a possible Russian invasion.
Earlier Svencioniene and her associates visited Belarus and met with authoritarian Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and expressed her support for Minsk.