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Lithuanian Ambassador to Russia Remigijus Motuzas was on Wednesday questioned as a special witness in a corruption case related to the issuance of a Schengen visa, Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office has confirmed.
Lithuanian Ambassador to Russia questioned as special witness in visa case
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"Motuzas was questioned as a special witness yesterday," Rita Stundiene, spokeswoman for the service, told BNS Lithuania on today.

The status of a special witness means that a person is questioned about their actions but there are no grounds to bring charges against the person.

BNS Lithuania has not been able to contact Motuzas since Wednesday.

Suspicions of influence peddling have been brought in the case against former long-standing Lithuanian diplomat Rimantas Sidlauskas, now director general of the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts (ALCCIC), Russian-citizen banker Rinat Nasirov and Lithuanian businessman Albinas Bieliauskas.

Sidlauskas is suspected to have agreed to influence people for Nasirov to get a Schengen visa, in exchange for a bribe.

Earlier speaking with BNS Lithuania, Motuzas confirmed that Nasirov and his son were issued Schengen visas in late March in response to an invitation letter sent by Sidlauskas.

The ambassador claimed that Sidlauskas called him in late March in inquired if his letter had been received.

Nasirov's lawyers confirmed that his client gave 3,000 euros to Sidlauskas but, in his words, it was not a bribe.

ALCCIC is due to decide on Sidlauskas' suspension on Friday.

Nasirov owns a small bank, Novy Promyshleny Bank, together with his sister.

According to Russian media reports, the Russian central bank suspended the license of the Novy Promyshleny Bank, one of the smallest commercial banks in the country in terms of assets, in February, 2018 due to numerous violations of requirements on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism funding.

BNS
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