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COBALT successfully represents former Lithuanian Parliament Speaker against charges of incitement of hatred

2020-12-10

COBALT successfully represented the former Speaker of the Seimas Arūnas Valinskas, and the prosecutor's office terminated his pre-trial investigation into incitement to hatred. After evaluating the data obtained during the pre-trial investigation, the testimony of witnesses and the conclusions of specialists, the prosecutor of the Vilnius District Prosecutor's Office adopted a resolution to terminate the pre-trial investigation into possible incitement to hatred, stating that no act indicative of a crime or misdemeanor had been committed.

Pre-trial investigation under Article 170 of the Criminal Code (Incitement against any nation, race, ethnic, religious or other group of people) was initiated due to the statements of the former Speaker of the Seimas A. Valinskas in one broadcast of the website "Delfi.lt" on October 14 this year. Commenting on the results of the Seimas elections and talking about the chairman of the Lithuanian Polish Election Campaign - the Union of Christian Families (LLRA-KŠS), A. Valinskas expressed statements that potentially despise, incite hatred and violence, and encourage physical crackdown with a group of people or a person belonging to it because of their nationality, beliefs and views.

In the decision to terminate the pre-trial investigation, the prosecutor notes that the content of A. Valinskas' statement about certain persons involved in politics is of a derogatory and offensive nature. The former politician exercised his freedom of self-expression by choosing inappropriate means of linguistic terms and thus possibly violated ethical and moral norms, but not the value protected by the norms of Article 170 of the Criminal Code - the equality of persons.

COBALT prepared procedural documents and represented A Valinskas' interests during the pre-trial investigation. The client's interests were represented by COBALT partner  Mindaugas Bliuvas.