Mr. Valdas Sutkus, President of the Lithuanian Business Confederation, Mr. Mantas Zalatorius, President of the Association of Lithuanian Banks, and 4 other persons were arrested today after data on their alleged criminal activities – large-scale active and passive bribery, trading in influence, squandering of property and forgery of documents – was obtained.
About 70 searches and seizures at the homes, workplaces of suspects and elsewhere in Lithuania took place today; other necessary procedural actions were performed as well as.
The pre-trial investigation is conducted by the Special Investigation Service (hereinafter – STT) under control and direction of the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor's Office.
The data obtained give reasonable grounds to suspect that Mr. Valdas Sutkus may have received illegal monetary remuneration for his role and impact in the adoption process of various legislative acts in the interests of business. This impact was done in exercising his position, social status, acquaintances, connections or other influence, while performing the duties of the President of the Confederation and representing the interests of Confederation members and other business entities. Among the legal acts that were of interest to the suspect – the draft Laws on the Lithuanian budget for 2020, which were deliberated by the Parliament at the end of 2019, the draft Laws on Banks, on Corporate Income Tax, and others.
It is alleged that such modus operandi was used for an extended period.
“This pre-trial investigation revealed examples of the façade lobbying, which covered an intolerable desire to profit or to gain other personal benefit, using existing powers and influence. This situation shows once again that it is important to continue discussions and seek solutions for that process of lobbying becomes more transparent” – said Mr. Žydrūnas Bartkus, Director of STT.