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Parliament Speaker Irena Degutienė questions validity of sacking Financial Crime Investigations chiefs

Irena Degutienė
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Irena Degutienė
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania's Parliament Speaker Irena Degutienė has said that lack of information raised doubts in connection to the recent sacking of Financial Crime Investigation Service's chief Vitalijus Gailius and his deputy Vytautas Giržadas.

Commenting the case of two officials who were dismissed by Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis last week, Degutienė said they were "authoritative fighters against the underworld."

"I might have less information than the President does and, consequently, I have some questions that the majority of the society member and politicians might raise. There's indignation, there are questions about why heads of an institution that is working well, two well-known and authoritative fighters against the underworld, are dismissed without a clear reason," Degutienė told Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.

The parliamentary speaker said she could not understand the argumentation that the Financial Crime Investigations chiefs were sacked after being tested on a polygraph, also known as the lie detector.

"I do not know the polygraph test results, I cannot answer how the test was performed and what answers they gave. To convict a person without delay, you need to have sufficient information, and when the information is insufficient, you cannot hold a firm position or opinion on how things are – are the FCIS chiefs in the wrong here, or is it the Interior Minister who fired them," she said in the interview.

She also said that the opinion of the two officials was not properly heard out. In her words, the country now needs a "normal and moderate investigation to be performed by Seimas (the Parliament) structures."

Last week, Palaitis dismissed Gailius and Girzadas a day after they had their permits to access classified information were revoked. The minister said the steps were taken in response to proposals from the State Security Department. Both Gailius and Girzadas took the decision to sack them to court.

President Dalia Grybauskaite has accused the dismissed officers of politicizing. She said on Monday the FCIS director and his deputy had been sacked for “not quite good” showing in the investigation carried out by the State Security Department into information leak about Snoras bank.

Later on Monday, the Prosecutor General's Office launched a pre-trial investigation into a leak of classified information about bank Snoras.

Shortly before Snoras' nationalization last November, Lietuvos Rytas daily cited anonymous sources and reported that “the Prosecutor General's Office has already issued sanctions for searching one of the banks and homes of its owners.“ The daily then did not specify a bank, however, said it was a "Lithuanian bank." Snoras owned more than third of Lietuvos Rytas' shares.

Both Gailius and Girzadas categorically deny their connection to the information disclosure.

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