Lithuanian PM’s team member questioned in coronavirus test probe

Government Vice-Chancellor Lukas Savickas has been questioned as a “special witness” in an investigation of 6-million-euro procurement of rapid coronavirus tests.

Savickas was interrogated by the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) on September 4, the service and the Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed to LRT.lt.

The special witness status means that Savickas was questioned about his own possible wrongdoing, without there being enough evidence yet to designate him a suspect.

The investigation was announced in June and centres around a 6-million-euro deal in which the government purchased rapid Covid-19 tests from a Lithuanian intermediary last March. The company, Profarma, is suspected of document forgery and giving false information about the supplier of the tests.

Several top managers of Profarma as well as Health Vice Minister Lina Jaruševičienė have been named suspects in the case. Jaruševičienė has since resigned from her post.

LRT Investigation Team has reported that instructions to the Health Ministry to sign the deal with Profarma came directly from the Prime Minister’s Office, via an email from Savickas.

Savickas, meanwhile, has told Delfi.lt that the Prime Minister’s Office merely coordinated the procurement, while the decision was made by Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga.

According to the LRT investigation, the government may have massively overpaid for the rapid tests and given preference to Profarma even before it had any contract with the makers of the tests.

LRT.LT

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