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Former chief of Lithuania's FCIS was sacked unlawfully, court decides

Vitalijus Gailius
Vitalijus Gailius
Šaltinis: BNS

The dismissal of former chief of Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service, Vitalijus Gailius, last February was unlawful, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court ruled on Wednesday.

Gailius, who was elected to the Seimas in October, was also awarded a compensation of LTL 25,000 (EUR 7,239), a severance pay of LTL 42,000 and LTL 67,000 for enforced idleness. The court, however, ruled that Gailius, who chose to pursue a political career, should not be reinstated.

"FCIS officers are barred from being members of political parties or political organizations and take part in political activities. Therefore, the claimant cannot be reinstates as head of the FCIS as he does not comply with requirements for such an officer and restrictions provided for by the law," the court said in a statement.

Raimundas Palaitis, the then minister of the interior, dismissed Gailius and his deputy Vytautas Giržadas, on 15 February. Palaitis himself resigned later after coming under criticism of the ruling Conservatives despite the fact that President Dalia Grybauskaitė then backed the minister.

Gailius was elected to the Seimas in October with the Liberal Movement and was later appointed to chair the Seimas Anticorruption Commission.

"I have defended not only my own interest but the interest of the multi-thousand community of officers to prevent development of narrow interests of political corruption in Lithuania when inconvenient honest officers are thrown out," Gailius said following the court ruling.

Meanwhile Palaitis believes he did not make a mistake and said his decision was based on results of a polygraph test.

"No, I don’t think I made a mistake as the situation was totally right. Even if there was a slight procedural inaccuracy made at the State Security Department during the polygraph test, just as in the Giržadas case, it does not change the essence. He failed the test and that was the basis for the dismissal," Palaitis told BNS.

Vilnius Regional Administrative Court's ruling can be appealed to the Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court.

Gailius' former deputy Vytautas Giržadas, who was also sacked in February, also won a case against his dismissal in September.

In February, Palaitis motivated his decision to sack Gailius and Giržadas with information from the State Security Department. The two officials were subjected to polygraph testing by officials investigating a leak of information about bank Snoras.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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