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Lithuanian court orders to liquidate organisation belonging to former Lithuanian politician jailed for spying for Russia

Monday, 20 February 2023, 22:43

On Monday, 20 February, the Vilnius District Chamber (part of the Vilnius Region District Court), reported that it had granted the prosecutor's motion to liquidate the International Forum of Good Neighbourhood association in a civil case against Algirdas Paleckis, a former politician who was convicted of spying for Russia and who founded the association.

Source: Delfi, a Lithuanian news outlet

Details: Judge Enrika Janušonienė explained that the International Forum of Good Neighbourhood spoke on behalf of Lithuanian citizens in Russia without having the right to do so and illegally denied the principles of European and transatlantic integration enshrined in the Lithuanian constitution.

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"In addition, the association publicly disseminated fake information about what it claimed to be illegal election results in Lithuania. Thus, in essence, Lithuania’s constitutional order was denied, and so was the fact that Lithuania is an independent and democratic state," the judge added.

According to the judge, it was also confirmed that the International Forum of Good Neighbourhood publicly demonstrated support for Russia in connection with the war it started against Ukraine.

Background: The Lithuanian the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office filed a lawsuit to liquidate  the International Forum of Good Neighbourhood in August 2022.

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Law enforcement agencies are conducting two pre-trial investigations related to the association's activities: in connection with possible assistance to another state’s actions against Lithuania and with the constituent documents signed by Paleckis.

Paleckis founded the International Forum of Good Neighbourhood while in prison. He had allegedly used an electronic signature to do so, despite the restriction stipulating that prisoners cannot use mobile phones for this purpose.

In 2012, Algirdas Paleckis was convicted for denying and grossly downplaying the fact of the USSR's aggression against the Republic of Lithuania. In July 2021, the District Court of the Lithuanian city of Siauliai found Paleckis guilty of spying for Russia and sentenced him to six years in prison.

Created in 2008, the Socialist Popular Front and its former leader Paleckis have been repeatedly mentioned in public intelligence reports about threats to Lithuania’s national security. Intelligence reports called the Socialist Popular Front a pro-Russian political party and described party representatives’ participation in propaganda actions directed against the United States and NATO.

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