Lithuanian Parliament calls for investigation into Belarusian bank accounts affair

Lithuanian MPs want to create a parliamentary group investigating the Ministry of Justice handing over information to Belarusian authorities on Belarusian dissidents’ accounts in Lithuanian banks.

But finding those responsible should not be the only goal of the Lithuanian authorities – thinks Arvidas Anushkauskas, head of the parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee. – Limiting [the investigation] only to holding those found guilty responsible, does not solve the problem, nor does it guarantee that similar situation will not occur in future” – said Anushkauskas.

According to Anushkauskas the scandal can harm the Lithuania’s image, hence the government should do everything in their power to prevent such situation from re-occurring. – I think that the parliamentary investigation will be more efficient, since the government, ministers and other institutions will be able to present their ideas which can be helpful in solving the problem” –Anushkauskas told Belsat.

The Lithuanian MP thinks that it is necessary to verify if the bilateral agreements on legal cooperation and information exchange with countries which violate human rights, are in accord with Lithuanian national interest.

“If we answer those questions, we will understand what kind of limitations we should introduce in terms of such cooperation. The international agreements contain articles allowing for prioritizing the national interest.” – added Anushkauskas.

Ales Bialacki, head of Vyasna human rights center, was arrested August 4th on charges of big scale tax evasion. Belarusian authorities based the accusations on documents handed over by the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice and Polish Prosecutor General. Bialacki, if proven guilty, is facing up to seven years in prison and a property loss.


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