The Lithuanian parliament’s board on Friday decided to turn to the Commission for Parliamentary Scrutiny of Criminal Intelligence over the actions of the Special Investigation Service (SIS) against journalists of the Baltic News Agency, Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Vydas Gedvilas said.
“We discussed the situation you are well aware of – the SIS actions when our employee Malikenaitė was caught by surprise at night and examined, and the other case when two BNS journalists were escorted for interrogation. (We discussed) why such methods are applied against the media. This is something we are not happy about,” Gedvilas told journalists on Friday.
The parliamentary vice-speaker criticised the “brutal” action of the law-enforcement, which he said politicians find unacceptable.
“The Seimas board is turning to the Commission of Criminal Intelligence, asking it to examine the case and submit its view, opinion and facts to the board. Indeed, aren’t there other ways of talking to journalists, do they have to be escorted, why did Malikenaitė have to be interviewed at night? We, politicians, find the situation in Lithuania unacceptable,” he said.
Gedvilas noted that the SIS chief may have to give his explanations to the Seimas board.
“Of course, he cannot talk about everything and explain everything, but he can explain the actions and the methods of doing this,” the parliamentary vice-speaker added.
“They may have to start searching for new forms and methods,” Gedvilas said in comment of the action of the law-enforcement institutions.
The investigation into unlawful leak of information was opened after BNS last week reported a warning issued by the State Security Department to state leaders and two parliamentary committees about upcoming new active information attacks and misinformation to be published soon about Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė.
The President later confirmed that the department warned her about provocations against Lithuania, the European Union’s (EU) Eastern partners and her personally.