Lithuanian judicial system pays too little attention to combating corruption – STT head

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Lithuanian judicial system pays too little attention to combating corruption – STT head

BNS

Anti-corruption investigations involving courts have revealed a lack of openness and attention to the fight against corruption in the Lithuanian judicial system, the director of the Special Investigation Service (STT) said.

“When we look at the Lithuanian public sector as a whole, we can see important steps toward creating an anti-corruption environment. Courts stopped at a certain point in this process,” Zydrunas Bartkus said in an interview with daily Lietuvos Zinios.

“In courts, for example, the latest version of the anti-corruption program was approved in 2012. This shows that the creation of an anti-corruption environment was not given sufficient attention,” he added.

Bartkus expects that the anti-corruption agency’s ongoing corruption investigation involving a number of judges and lawyers will lead to “more willingness in the judicial system, in cooperation with STT, to analyze problems and look for solutions that would help prevent such situations in the future”.

According to the director, a special task force set up in STT is analyzing problems, possible proposals and solutions to reduce corruption risks in the judicial system.

The Judicial Council has said it is initiating a meeting with STT and the Chief Official Ethics Commission next week to discuss these problems.

The STT director is confident that the investigation into suspected corruption in courts will be completed and the case will go to court.

Although the investigation is large in scope, it should not take very much time to complete, because it does not involve public procurement procedures or financial operations, he added.

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