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Lithuanian Interior Minister declares no-confidence in Financial Crimes Investigation chief

Vitalijus Gailius
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Vitalijus Gailius
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania's Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis on Thursday stated no-confidence in director of the Financial Crime Investigation Service, Vitalijus Gailius.

"My position remains unchanged. FCIS director Vitalijus Gailius has clearly showed he is covering for his deputy Vytautas Giržadas, which gives me reasons to state no-confidence in him, too. We have launched legal proceedings in connection to the mandate of the officials to work with classified information. We will wait for the results – I believe they will provide answers as to whether they can continue in their positions," the minister told BNS.

Earlier, Vitalijus Gailius, director of Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service, expressed confidence in his deputy Vytautas Giržadas who has lost trust of the interior minister.

"I trust my deputy," the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) chief told journalists on Thursday. Girzadas said he had not submitted resignation.

"I learned about the no-confidence from the press yesterday," Giržadas added, noting that an investigation had been initiated by the interior minister into his mandate to work with classified information.

"The investigation will reveal whether any violations had been committed, whether I can have access to classified information I have been working with for the past 15 years," he said.

"Finally, the decisions have shifted from the public to the legal environment. The interior minister started an investigation into the mandate to access classified information, Comments on the results will be available after the probe," the Financial Crime Investigation Service director said.

Gailius noted that his deputy could only be sacked and appointed by the interior minister based on the official's request or violation of the statute.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis declared no-confidence in Giržadas, saying he had undergone the second lie detector test, and the results allegedly were unfavorable.

"I personally view my polygraph tests positively, since response to certain questions indicates that a person cares, (…), I think I am doing my job well, as I care about the questions asked, and I automatically react to them," Giržadas said.

He expressed doubts about the publishing of the data about his polygraph tests, adding this should be investigated.

Gailius said Giržadas would not be able to work with classified information over the course of the investigation.

According to information available to BNS, the polygraph tests might be related to an investigation into the leak of information about the bankrupt bank Snoras and how Snoras' shareholders received information on planned law-enforcement actions last November.

FCIS deputy directors are appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Interior Affairs upon the submission of the director of the service.

Lithuania's Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius says he will assess the situation of the top officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Service after receiving conclusions of legal investigation.

"I value the results of the Financial Crime Investigation Service's work, I hope we will see the efficient efforts against the shadow (economy) in the future, as well. I will assess the information leakage issue only after receiving conclusions of legal investigations," Kubilius said in a telephone interview to BNS from Sweden on Thursday.

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