Landsbergis on the responsibility of the Heads of the SSD(VSD) and STT: if Seimas were to raise this issue, it would look politicised

Suppose the Seimas adopts the conclusion of the Commission that investigated the story of the rapporteur Tomas Gailius. In that case, Conservative leader Gabrielius Landsbergis believes it would be possible to raise the issue of the responsibility of the Heads of the State Security Department ( VSD) and the Special Investigations Service ( STT) mentioned in the document. However, he said, if the Seimas raises the issue, it will look politicised.

Gabrielius Landsbergis.<br>Photo credits: Andrius Ufartas (ELTA).
Gabrielius Landsbergis.<br>Photo credits: Andrius Ufartas (ELTA).
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Jun 4, 2024, 4:22 PM

„Would those who could take responsibility themselves, which would be the right thing to do, I think yes, they could. Will they, do it? I very much doubt it. Can the people who appoint them demand their responsibility? Perhaps so. (...) Will they, do it? Again, I have strong doubts,“ Landsbergis told journalists at the Seimas.

„In this case, the question is for the people who appoint, whose responsibility it is to provide the person,“ the politician stressed, referring to President Gitanas Nausėda.

Therefore, Landsbergis stressed that raising the issue of leaders' responsibility at the Seimas level would be politicising.

„If we are talking about what the Seimas as an institution could do, and not as an individual politician, then the Seimas should propose amendments to the law.

And suppose there is a vote on reappointment or on a person who was also involved in the investigation. In that case, it is up to the conscience to conclude when appointing or voting afterwards,“ said Landsbergis.

He said that Seimas should adopt legislative amendments to provide the possibility of declassifying certain information.

„There must be possibilities and methods to declassify certain information, especially if the information involves institutions interested in its declassification (...) Declassifying information would help the institutions work better,“ he said.

Šimonytė does not disclose whether she trusts Jauniškis

Commenting on the conclusions of the parliamentary inquiry, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė did not want to say whether she would see Jauniškis continuing to head the DSS.

„I would like to recall the constitutional responsibility of the Government and say that this question is not really for me as the Head of the Government,“ she told reporters in the Seimas.

Moreover, the politician said, the conclusions adopted by the Seimas that the President is vulnerable should not change the communication between her and the Head of State.

„I think that we will continue to discuss all the issues we have been discussing so far,“ the Prime Minister said.

Šimonytė claimed that it was now important for the Seimas, which had approved the conclusions, to further improve the legislation and thus strengthen the rapporteur's protection.

„I hope that the Seimas, which has the mandate of parliamentary control, will find ways to improve the law so that the whistleblower's protection in Lithuania is not paper-based, but what it should be.

And other issues that the Commission has identified as needing to be addressed and that the Seimas has approved to be addressed,“ Šimonytė said, commenting on the work of the Seimas Commission.

ELTA recalls that on Tuesday, the Seimas approved the conclusions of the parliamentary Commission of Inquiry that examined the story of the State Security Department (SSD) whistleblower and sparked a heated political debate.

After months of analysis and the testimonies of several officials, it was concluded that the Head of the SSD, Darius Jauniškis, had assisted the then-candidate Gitanas Nausėda by gathering intelligence information about his environment. The members of the Seimas conclude that the material on the candidate's environment reached the Director of the DSS through Nausėda himself or a person acting on his behalf. It is also pointed out 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 the Head of the STT, Linas Pernavas, who, according to the conclusions, abused his office by refusing to provide the Commission with 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 DSS was investigating possible irregularities in financing the election campaign of the then-candidate Nausėda.

It was also revealed that in 2018–2019, Nausėda and members of his campaign staff contacted representatives of the Belarusian fertiliser business, met with them, and, after becoming the country's Head of State, invited them to events at the Presidential Palace. 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. The Parliamentary Commission intends to appeal to the Prosecutor's Office.

The Commission of Inquiry has also assessed the irregularities regarding the identity of the whistleblower Gailius, stating that Jauniškis, the Director of the DSS, is directly responsible for this.

President Nausėda has criticised the parliamentary inquiry and its conclusions several times. According to the Presidency, it was a „desperate attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential elections“ and, simultaneously, an attempt to „discredit the state and its constitutional principles“. Daukantas Square believes that the Seimas Temporary Commission is politicised and that its conclusions are directed against the President and many state institutions.

The Head of the STT, Pernavas, also rejects the Commission's conclusions, which are highly critical of him. The DSS takes a similar position, claiming that the parliamentary inquiry is based on selectively chosen information and that its biased conclusions „create preconditions for political pressure on intelligence and law enforcement institutions“.

However, following the investigation's findings, the Seimas Ethics and Procedures Commission stated that the parliamentary investigation had unlawfully revealed the identity of the rapporteur, Gailius, that the Commission's Chairman, Vytautas Bakas, a member of the Democrats' In the Name of Lithuania party, had acted in a biased manner during the investigation, and that the parliamentary Commission had overstepped its mandate. Some members of the Commission of Inquiry have appealed against this decision of the Ethics Ombudsmen to the court.

The story of the DSS whistleblower has also reached the Constitutional Court (KT), where a group of the Seimas opposition appealed to the judges to assess the legality of the temporary Commission of inquiry. The CC has taken up the issue.

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