Šimonytė on the conclusions regarding Nausėda: If you have nothing to hide, you can answer all questions

President Gitanas Nausėda's refusal to testify before the Seimas on the story of the State Security Department (VSD) whistleblower to the commission shows "a minimum of disrespect for the Seimas", believes Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

Ingrida Šimonytė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Ingrida Šimonytė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)


2024-03-28 16:21

Although she tends to be very cautious about the commission's conclusions, the Head of Government said she can undoubtedly answer questions if she has nothing to hide.

Asked on Thursday whether she was convinced by the commission's conclusions, which were set up in the Seimas, Šimonytė admitted that it was not easy to comment on the matter, both because of her personal experience and the electoral context.

"I have some personal experience of the events described in the conclusions, so I have also based my conclusions on that.

Those people whose activities are the subject of the study are very much inclined to simplify it, to write it off to some political rivalry or to resentment over one or another election result. Again, since we have a presidential election campaign now, too, this is probably the easiest way to put any comment I make in that way.

So, I am cautious about how I approach this situation so that it doesn't seem to anyone that I have some personal interest," Šimonytė told Žinių Radijas.

However, she stressed that mentioning a few key points was important. According to the Prime Minister, during her political career, she has testified in at least four commissions of inquiry, where it only sometimes seemed to her that the questions asked were correct and that the people who headed or participated in the commission were objective enough.

"But it never occurred to me that I could refuse to testify before a commission and answer questions, whatever they might be. Because if you have nothing to hide, you can take all the questions and answer them. In a word, writing is a matter of technique.

As I understand it, the commission had agreed to the President answering the questions in writing, and we have all heard this almost public promise or reasoning from Mr Nausėda. I don't know why this didn't happen," Šimonytė said.

According to the Prime Minister, Nausėda's refusal to testify before the commission also shows disrespect for the people's representation.

"Without going into detailed assessments and qualifications of this behaviour, it shows a minimum of disrespect for the Seimas as an institution. (...) One can reduce it to some political fights and Bakas’s grievances with Skvernelis, but these issues are not going away.

I think the easiest way to eliminate those questions is to answer them," Šimonytė said.

Speaking about the possible impeachment of Nausėda, the Head of Government stressed that it is still too early to talk about it because such a step requires many different stages.

"I will just say again what I said that, in my understanding, Nausėda has shown in various ways during his term of office that it is not easy for him to be equally fair to everyone, and if something does not seem politically acceptable or somehow convenient to him, then everything is attempted to be written off as a part of a political struggle or a cavity of grievances, although, in my understanding, for officials of such a rank, who are held to the highest standards of transparency, they should have the courage to answer the questions," the Prime Minister said.

Šimonytė also did not say whether the Seimas would endorse the commission's conclusions, but she did not doubt that the questions about Nausėda would not disappear.

"However, that information will not disappear, and those questions will still be hanging around. Someone will ask them. And people who are not satisfied with the answer or have not heard it will continue to ask those questions," she predicted.

We want to remind you that on Monday, the Seimas Commission, which examined the story of the State Security Department (VSD) whistleblower Tomas Gailius, confirmed the conclusion of the parliamentary investigation. After several months of analysis and the testimonies of several officials, it was concluded that the Head of the State Security Department, Darius Jauniškis, had assisted the then-candidate Nausėda by collecting intelligence information about his environment.

The Seimas investigators conclude that the material on the candidate's environment reached the Head of the State Security Department through Nausėda or a person acting on his behalf. It is also stated that the information gathered by the Department may have been disclosed to Mr Nausėda himself.

The parliamentarians considered that the President's refusal to answer the commission's questions at the time had obstructed the Seimas in performing its duties and violated the Constitution and his oath to respect and obey the law.

The parliamentary inquiry also casts a shadow over Linas Pernavas, the Head of the Special Investigation Service (STT), who, according to the conclusions, abused his office by refusing to provide the commission with the information gathered during the criminal intelligence investigation and misleading the commission members.

The conclusions of the inquiry also state that the parliamentary investigation revealed that the State Security Department (VSD) was investigating possible irregularities in financing the election campaign of the then-candidate Nausėda.

It was also found that in 2018-2019, Nausėda and members of his campaign staff met with representatives of the Belarusian fertiliser business and invited them to events at the Presidential Palace after he became the country's Head of State.

It is noted that members of Nausėda's team, who held high positions in the Chancellery of the President's Office, testified to the commission and withheld this information. In this respect, the Seimas Commission intends to appeal to the Prosecutor's Office.

The President disagrees with the conclusions and stresses that the commission is politicised. According to the Presidency, this is a desperate attempt to influence the results of the presidential elections and a discredit the state and its constitutional principles.

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