Home 2018-05-27T14:36:10+00:00

The Corrupted MG Baltic

Darius Juozas Mockus
Darius Juozas MockusPresident of MG Baltic

The chief prosecutor of the Vilnius Regional Prosecutor‘s Office, who headed the pre-trial investigation, drafted a bill of indictment in one of the major political corruption cases of recent years. The pre-trial investigation in this case was conducted by the officers of the Special Investigation Service. The charges were filed against five private individuals, of whom four were or are members of the Seimas, and three legal entities. One of the legal entities is a corporate group MG Baltic (entity code 125459336), which, if proven guilty of bribery and trading in influence, might be liquidated (Art. 43 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania). President of MG Baltic is Darius Juozas Mockus.

Raimondas Kurlianskis
Raimondas KurlianskisFormer vice president of MG Baltic

Former vice president of one of the Lithuanian corporate groups (MG Baltic), general director and board‘s member of the media group (UAB „MG Baltic Media” and UAB „Alfa Media”) managed by this corporate group Raimondas Kurlianskis is charged with bribery (Art. 227 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania) and trading in influence (Art. 226 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania) of the members of Seimas of the 2012–2016 term, former chairperson of political party “Liberals Movement“ (Liberalų Sąjunga) Eligijus Masiulis, member of the board of this party Šarūnas Gustainis and first deputy of the former chairperson of political party “Labour Party“ (Darbo partija) Vytautas Gapšys.

Raimondas Kurlianskis is accused of the following: he, being the vice president and the board‘s member of the corporate group, who was entitled to act and acted on behalf of the corporate group by virtue of his position, in the period from July 2015 until 10 May 2016, by the alleged bribing and trading in influence of the given politicians, allegedly sought to receive decisions that would be favourable to the corporate group. It is specified in the indictment that, at the multiple meetings with the given politicians during the period specified, Raimondas Kurlianskis offered, promised, agreed to give and gave bribes for their lawful or unlawful actions in favour of the corporate group.

Šarūnas Gustainis
Šarūnas GustainisMember of Seimas

It is specified in the indictment that, in July 2015, for the desired unlawful action in performing the official duties, a bribe in amount of € 8 700 was transferred from the account which belonged to a media company of the corporate group to the account of a public institution associated with the Liberals Movement, which was established by member of Seimas Šarūnas Gustainis, with payment details – support to the public institution. In October 2015, Raimondas Kurlianskis during the meeting with the then member of Seimas Šarūnas Gustainis handed to this person a draft text of amendment to the consumer credit law which is favourable to the corporate group. Šarūnas Gustainis, in the fulfilment of the request, in the October – November 2015 period, registered this proposal on the amendment of the consumer credit law and voted for the adoption of this legal act draft. It is specified in the indictment that the bribe money was used in the period from 16 January 2016 until 24 April of the same year to cover a part of the expenses on the “Ready to Win“ training of the Liberals Movement‘s members. The Central Electoral Commission established that these trainings initiated, co-ordinated, organised by member of Seimas Šarūnas Gustainis and paid by a public institution which he founded were aimed at ensuring the successful participation of the candidates of the Liberals Movement political party in the political campaign of elections to the Seimas of 2016. The Central Electoral Commission decided to recognise these expenses as expenses on the Liberals Movement‘s political campaign of elections to the Seimas. In such a way, the Liberals Movement flagrantly violated the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Funding of, and Control over Funding of, Political Campaigns. Due to this flagrant violation of the Law on Funding of, and Control over Funding of, Political Campaigns, the Central Electoral Commission decided not to allocate state budget‘s resources (in amount of € 394 880) for a six months period. The former member of the Seimas is charged with bribery (Art. 225 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania).

Eligijus Masiulis
Eligijus Masiulis Former chairperson of the Liberals Movement

During the pre-trial investigation, it was established that a bribe in amount of € 106 000 in cash was given to former chairperson of the Liberals Movement Eligijus Masiulis for the adoption of decisions allegedly favourable to the corporate group during the consideration and adoption of the consumer credit law draft, resolution of Seimas on the € 169 300 000 worth public and private sectors‘ partnership project “Road Vilnius – Utena“; for the proposal on the amendment draft to the Law on the Limit of Payments in Cash; for the removal of the decision “On the approval of resolution on the Jonas Basanavičius monument“ from the agenda of the Vilnius Municipality Council; for the exclusive position and favouritism in future in the adoption by the Seimas of other political decisions favourable to the corporate group and for the Eligijus Masiulis influence on other members of the Seimas of the 2012-2016 term to adopt decisions in favour of the corporate group.

As specified in the indictment, a part of the bribe given by Raimondas Kurlianskis to Eligijus Masiulis was of non-property, non-economic nature. Raimondas Kurlianskis, being the chairperson of the board of the media group owned by the corporate group, organised comments by chairperson of the Liberals Movement in the managed media‘s TV shows where, with a view to increase the authority of this political party and its chairperson, the activities of Eligijus Masiulis and his party were covered in an advantageous way. Furthermore, at the request of Eligijus Masiulis, Raimondas Kurlianskis, during the November 2015 meeting with the then first deputy of the chairperson of the Liberals Movement, now member of the European Parliament Antanas Guoga, exercised his influence as of the manager controlling the given mass media and requested that he drop the unfavourable-to-Eligijus Masiulis political decision which could cause political damages to the Liberals Movement political party in respect of establishing the party‘s authority and creating the party‘s opportunity to win the 2016 elections to the Seimas for the 2016-2010 term which could diminish fraction “Prosperous Lithuania“ (“Klestinti Lietuva“).

Vytautas Gapšys
Vytautas GapšysFirst deputy of the chairperson of political party “Labour Party“

Raimondas Kurlianskis is also charged with bribery and trading in influence of member of the Seimas of the 2012-2016 term, first deputy of the chairperson of political party “Labour Party“ Vytautas Gapšys by giving him bribes for the total amount of € 27 100. A part of this sum was given in the form of a discount for the Labour Party‘s political advertising broadcasted via the TV media owned by the corporate group, while the other part was disguised as ‘support to public institution‘.

It is specified in the indictment that these bribes were given to Vytautas Gapšys for his promise to influence the then chairperson of the Seimas, members of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Seimas and members of the Labour Party in the Seimas so that they submit and vote in the Budget and Finance Committee of the Seimas and plenary sessions of the Seimas for political decisions which are favourable to the corporate group and adopt other political decisions favourable to the corporate group: when considering and adopting the consumer credit law draft, considering and adopting the profit tax law draft; also, for the influence on the members of the Labour Party in the Seimas in respect of the adoption of the resolution of the Seimas on the € 169 300 000 worth public and private sectors‘ partnership project “Road Vilnius – Utena“.

It is as well specified in the indictment that these bribes were given, inter alia, for the promise to influence the then Minister of Agriculture to adopt – during the allocation of the budgets for making public the projects to be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Payment Agency for 2016 – decisions that would be financially favourable to the mass media owned by the corporate group. Furthermore – for the promise to influence the Minister of Agriculture to give order to the employees of the National Land Service to make a state land lease contract with the company managed by the corporate group on the long-term lease of a part of the state land plot.

It is argued in the indictment that Vytautas Gapšys received these bribes, inter alia, for the promise to influence the decision on the detention of the then general director of AB “Lietuvos geležinkeliai“ for another term; for the promise to influence the fraction‘s members in pre-conditioning the favourable results of the public procurements announced by the Ignalina nuclear power plant “Construction of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility“ and “Procurement of Works of Design and Construction of Sections of Engineering Structures and Their Connection to the Existing IAE Infrastructure“ and for the exclusive position and favouritism in future in the adoption by the Seimas of other political decisions that would be favourable to the corporate group. It is indicated in the indictment that, for the bribe, Vytautas Gapšys, inter alia, promised to influence the chairperson of the Committee on Health Affairs of the Seimas in respect of the appointment of a candidate specified by Raimondas Kurlianskis to the position of the chairperson of the National Health Council.

In the given case, former members of the Seimas Eligijus Masiulis and Vytautas Gapšys were charged with bribery (Art. 225 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania) and trading in influence (Art. 226 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania). Eligijus Masiulis was as well charged with unlawful enrichment (Art. 189 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania). During the search at the Eligijus Masiulis’ house, € 242 410, £ 130 and $ 1600 were found and seized. It is specified in the indictment that E. M knew that these assets could not be acquired by legal means as a part of these assets – € 106 200 had been accepted by him from Raimondas Kurlianskis as a bribe, while the remaining € 136 210, £ 130 and $ 1600 had been received by Eligijus Masiulis from unidentified sources of income; these funds have been neither declared nor supported by documents and they are not lawful income generated by the activity not prohibited by the legal acts.

Gintaras Steponavičius
Gintaras SteponavičiusMember of the Seimas

Charges with abuse of office under Art. 228 (2) of the Criminal Code of Lithuania were as well filed against current member of the Seimas Gintaras Steponavičius. It is indicated in the indictment that Gintaras Steponavičius, being a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of the 2012–2016 term, then chairperson of parliamentary political party “Liberals Movement“ and deputy of the elder of this political party‘s fraction in the Seimas, by abusing office, requested the corporate group‘s representative Raimondas Kurlianskis. to give money for the public institution represented by G. Steponavičius, for the Gintaras Steponavičius support fund and for the electoral campaign of Gintaras Steponavičius in elections to the members of the Seimas for the 2016-2020 term. The case materials prove that the € 15 000 part of the € 20 000 sum requested by Gintaras Steponavičius was transferred from the account of the corporate group‘s media company managed by R. K. to the public institution represented by G. Steponavičius and to the Gintaras Steponavičius support fund. A part of these funds was spent on the Liberals Movement‘s events which took place in the period from 24 March 2016 until 4 April 2016. According to the decision of the Central Electoral Commission, these expenses were recognised as expenses on the Liberals Movement‘s political campaign of elections to the Seimas in 2016 and a flagrant violation of the Law on Funding of, and Control over Funding of, Political Campaigns.

In the given case, charges with bribery and trading in influence were as well filed against one of the major Lithuanian business groups. The data collected during the pre-trial investigation are sufficient to reasonably suspect that the vice-president of the corporate group, general director and board‘s member of the media group managed by this corporate group Raimondas Kurlianskis committed the criminal acts with the alleged view to ensure the adoption of favourable-and-financially-advantageous-to-the-corporate-group political decisions in the Seimas.

Political party “Labour Party“ is charged with crimes provided for in Art. 225 (3) (Bribery) and Art. 226 (4) (Trading in Influence) of the Criminal Code of Lithuania, while political party “Liberals Movement“ is charged with crimes provided for in Art. 225 (1, 2 and 3) (Bribery), Art. 226 (2 and 4) (Trading in Influence) and Art. 228 (2) (Abuse of Office) of the Criminal Code of Lithuania.