After a three-hour long discussion, the Seimas voted to approve the findings of a special parliamentary commission formed to investigate the scandalous privatisation of the oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta. The ruling majority also voted to hand the conclusions to prosecutors.
The conclusions state that Mazeikiu Nafta was given to the US company Williams International rather than sold. The government did not receive one litas from the deal. Instead, the privatisation brought losses of millions of litas.
The responsibility for it, the ad hoc commission concluded, must be shared by several governments -- one led by the Conservative Gediminas Vagnorius, another led by the Conservative Rolandas Paksas, and yet another of acting Prime Minister Irena Degutiene -- as well as the ruling majority at that time of the Conservatives and Christian Democrats and Valdas Adamkus, the president at that time.
The resolution approving the commission's findings was approved by 70 legislators, mostly from the Social Democratic, Social Liberal, Liberal Democratic, Peasant, and Mixed parties. Four lawmakers from Liberal-Centre Party were against the measure. The Conservative faction did not participate in the vote. Altogether, 11 parliamentarians abstained.
The Seimas also discussed alternative conclusions submitted by the Conservatives. They suggested underlining the benefits of Mazeikiu Nafta's privatisation. They also stated that the losses incurred by the oil refinery were determined by economic factors. However, the ruling parties voted to reject the alternative findings.
Also, the Seimas rejected a number of other proposals that came from various goups. One of them, by the Conservatives, suggested that the ad hoc commission worked following the political order of the Social Democrats. Liberal Democrat Algimantas Matulevicius proposed extending the investigation to find out if the actions of the state officials were in line with the constitutional provisions and the oath of a state official. MP Petras Grazulis proposed forming one more impeachment commission and taking the matter "to the very end". The lawmaker reminded his colleagues of the impeachment of Paksas and said that the Conservatives will not be able to escape impeachment after the new group of Seimas members is elected in the autumn. The Seimas turned down all of these suggestions, however.
The Conservatives, as before, said the conclusions of the commission were unfair and politicised.