In a comment received by BNS, the prosecutors said that the warrants were updated to fit the new circumstances, and the European Union's (EU) law envisages that all costs should be covered by the executing country. Furthermore, Lithuanian prosecutors said that the process was longer than the timelines stipulated in the EU law due to specific features of the British system.
"The new arrest warrants issued on 1 June (...) were necessary, as the investigation of the criminal case was not ceased after the issuance of the first warrants – it was continuing intensively," the Prosecutor General's Office said.
The prosecutors said that the investigation revealed new circumstances and new episodes of criminal deeds, consequently, charges against Antonov were supplemented with three new criminal offenses, and Baranauskas – with one new episode. In this light, the prosecutor in charge of the probe passed new decisions on 28 May to find Antonov and Baranauskas as suspects.
The prosecution said adding new items to the European Arrest Warrants was necessary, as criminal prosecution of a person is only possible for the deeds he was handed over for and that are specified in a warrant.
According to the letter, the 2002 decision approved by the European Council stipulates that the executing country should cover the cost related to execution of the European Arrest Warrant in the territory of the executing country, i.e., the United Kingdom.
"Please note that the Prosecutor General's Office cannot influence the judicial proceedings and the duration thereof in another country. The above-mentioned Council decision specifies specific timeframes for making a decision on execution of the warrant – 60 days after the detention of the person requested for handover, with the possibility to extend the deadline for another 30 days. The extradition process of Vladimir Antonov and Raimundas Baranauskas to Lithuania is delayed due to specific features of the UK national law and legal system," the Prosecutor General's Office said in the press release.
Lrytas.lt news portal reported on Wednesday that a British court's ruling on extradition of the two suspects to Lithuania was expected next January.
The Westminster magistrate decided to move the hearing from the initial planned date in December to 21 January 2013.
According to the portal, Lithuania, not Great Britain or the suspects, would have to cover the legal costs in connection to Snoras' former owners, as a result of adverse circumstances.
The extradition case has been pending since the end of November 2011, the suspects disagree to be handed over to Lithuania.
In a warrant submitted in June, Baranauskas and Antonov are charged with stealing about 1.7 billion litas (EUR 492.7m) worth of the bank's property, up from 700 million litas listed in early May and 987 million on 22 November last year.
After Snoras was nationalized on 16 November last year, bankruptcy proceedings were opened on 7 December 2011.