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Published: 13 november 2012 09:38

Lithuanian court started reading document evidence in Labour Party's case

Viktoras Uspaskichas
Luko Balandžio nuotr. / Labour Party leader Viktor Uspaskich

Vilnius Regional Court, which started reading material in the Labour Party's criminal case on Monday, managed to read several dozen documents.

At 4 PM on Monday, the court started reading the 25th volume in the case, with over 150 volumes of documents in total.

The first documents that were read on Monday were the State Security Department's reports of 2006 on the Labour Party's influence on the distribution of EU support as well as emails and phone records of defendants Vitalija Vonzutaitė and Marina Liutkevičienė. The court also read protocols of searches carried out at the party's headquarters and other addresses.

The court read not all documents but only those that the defendants or their lawyers asked to read.

The evidence examination in the case will be followed by the final speeches and the defendants' final statements.

On 26 October, the Prosecutor General's Office charged the Labour Party's leader MEP Viktor Uspaskich, incumbent MP Vytautas Gapšys, and MP-elect Vitalija Vonzutaitė and the Labour Party's former accountant Marina Liutkevičienė with fraud. The more serious charges were brought on the eve of the second round of voting in the Seimas elections after prosecutor Saulius Verseckas decided to re-qualify previous charges.

The defendants in the case were earlier charged with providing incorrect information on the party's income, profits, and assets to state institutions in order to avoid taxes.

Following the re-qualification, the statute of limitations will go up from eight to ten years starting from 2006, and potential punishments will be tougher.

Prosecutors say the Labour Party's financial documentation for the 2004-2006 period failed to include about LTL 25 million (EUR 7.3 million) in income and about LTL 23 million in spending related with property, commitments, and structural changes, and also failed to pay taxes of around LTL 4 million.

Uspaskich strongly denies all charges.

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