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On the actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys

Case no 12/2017

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
CONCLUSION

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE ACTIONS OF MINDAUGAS BASTYS, A MEMBER OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, AGAINST WHOM AN IMPEACHMENT CASE HAS BEEN INSTITUTED, WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

22 December 2017, no KT22-I2/2017
Vilnius

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Elvyra Baltutytė, Gintaras Goda, Vytautas Greičius, Danutė Jočienė, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Daiva Petrylaitė, Janina Stripeikienė, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter – Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, who were: Vytautas Bakas, the Chair of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence; Stasys Šedbaras, the Deputy Chair of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs; Andrius Kabišaitis, the Director of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas; Paulius Veršekys and Svetlana Zamara, advisers at the Public Law Unit of the same department; Vitalij Dmitrijev, the Head of the Office of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence; Erika Mikalajūnienė and Vita Misiūnienė, advisers at the Secretariat of the Commissions of the Office of the Seimas

Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned

The representatives of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, who were the advocates Raimundas Jurka and Egidijus Losis

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Paragraph 2 of Article 1 and Item 4 of Article 73 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 5 December 2017, at a hearing of the Constitutional Court, considered, under oral proceedings, case no 12/2017 subsequent to the inquiry (no 1B-13/2017), which is set out in Article 2 of the resolution (No XIII-412) of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 6 June 2017 on beginning an impeachment against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and applying to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, requesting a conclusion whether the concrete actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that are specified in the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings are in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The inquiry of the petitioner

1. On 6 June 2017, the Seimas, the petitioner, adopted the resolution (No XIII-412) on beginning an impeachment against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and applying to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter also referred to as the Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017). By means of this resolution, the Seimas instituted impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys (Article 1) and applied to the Constitutional Court, requesting a conclusion on whether the concrete actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that are specified in the conclusion of the Seimas Special Investigation Commission for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings (hereinafter also referred to as the Special Investigation Commission) are in conflict with the Constitution (Article 2).

The inquiry of the Seimas, the petitioner, was received at the Constitutional Court on 13 June 2017.

2. The Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017 was adopted due to the fact that the Seimas, on 6 June 2017, adopted the resolution (No XIII-411) on the assent to the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Mindaugas Bastys, a Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings (hereinafter also referred to as the Seimas resolution (No XIII-411) of 6 June 2017).

By Article 1 of the Seimas resolution (No XIII-411) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas assented to the Conclusion concerning the Grounds for Beginning Impeachment Proceedings (attached to this resolution), which had been adopted by the Special Investigation Commission and, by Article 2 of this resolution, recognised that the Special Investigation Commission had completed its work.

The conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission held:

In the light of the foregoing, the Commission concludes:

1. To recognise that the proposal of the members of the Seimas to begin impeachment proceedings against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, is justified.

2. To state that there are grounds for beginning impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys due to the fact that Mindaugas Bastys:

1) grossly breached the oath by which he committed himself ‘to strengthening, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania’, ‘to respecting and upholding the Constitution and laws’, ‘to serving his Homeland conscientiously’ and, accordingly, grossly violated the Constitution when, on 14 December 2016, in replying to question 55 in the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, concealed his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having violated imperative requirements laid down in legal acts and acting in bad faith, he sought to access state secrets in the case where his activity, traits, or relationships could give reason to fear that he could pose a threat to the protection of secrets, thus undermining the state interests to protect classified information from persons who do not have complete confidence and trampling on the constitutional significance of state secrets;

2) grossly breached the oath by which he committed himself ‘to serving his Homeland conscientiously’, and, accordingly, grossly violated the Constitution when, while questioned before the VSD on 15 February 2017 and 3 March 2017 and during the meetings of the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 3 April 2017, acting in bad faith, provided different testimony and explanations as to whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB.

3. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys grossly breached the oath by which he committed himself ‘to strengthening, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania’, ‘to serving his Homeland conscientiously’ and, accordingly, grossly violated the Constitution when he organised undisclosed meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania (in December 2012, the meetings were coordinated with the then Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, however, only Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys participated in those meetings; on 13 February 2013, he coordinated such a meeting with Algirdas Butkevičius, however, as this meeting did not take place, he coordinated it with Vydas Gedvilas on the same day) and participated in the said meetings (on 13 February 2013); in this way, he was seeking to ensure political support for the plans of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation in Lithuania and was helping the persons representing Rosatom to protect and advance Rosatom’s interests, which were directed against the interests of the Republic of Lithuania (which had been approved by the Seimas in the strategic documents of the Republic of Lithuania) to strengthen the energy independence of the state, and thus, by his actions, posed a threat to national security.

4. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys grossly breached the oath by which he committed himself ‘to serving his Homeland conscientiously’ and, accordingly, grossly violated the Constitution when, after the NSGK and the Commission had started their work, he, as a member of the Seimas of the term of office of 2016–2020, tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, their significance and nature, avoided answering the questions posed to him during the investigation and:

1) when acting in bad faith, tried to deny or diminish his role in organising the meeting with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania (with Vydas Gedvilas and Algirdas Butkevičius; in his explanations given at the VSD on 15 February 2017 and at the meetings of the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 10 April 2017, right after the meeting with Vydas Gedvilas) and later, acting in bad faith, tried to create the impression (i.e. on 15 February 2017, 31 March 2017, and 10 April 2017) while giving the testimony that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltiyskaya nuclear power plant;

2) when acting in bad faith, at the meeting of the NSGK on 10 April 2017, denied having been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius, denied his meeting with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD;

3) when acting in bad faith, provided different testimony and different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin (the meeting of the NSGK of 31 March 2017; the information of 10 April 2017, as declassified by the VSD).

5. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys grossly breached the oath, by which he committed himself ‘to serving his Homeland conscientiously’ and, accordingly, grossly violated the Constitution when discrediting, by his actions specified above in this part, not only his own authority as a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, but also that of the Seimas as the legislative institution of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as state power in general; therefore, there is a reasonable doubt about the possibility for Mindaugas Bastys, as a person, to use in the future in a proper and honest manner the mandate of a representative of the Nation granted to him.”

II

The explanations of the party concerned

3. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, written explanations were received from Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, in which he disagrees with the fact that by his actions he has grossly violated the Constitution and breached the oath. The following arguments are presented in the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

3.1. The statement in the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission that he sought to access state secrets is completely ungrounded, because obtaining authorisation to handle or access classified information was not his personal need or interest, but he only carried out an ordinance of the Speaker of the Seimas, which established the duty ex officio to obtain the said authorisation. In addition, he understood the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states?” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information (hereinafter also referred to as the Questionnaire) as a requirement to point out only the staff of the intelligence or security services or their related institutions of other states existing at present. He did not think that, in answering this question, he should also keep in mind the staff of the USSR KGB (where Piotr Voyeyko used to work).

According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, he informed the staff of the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės saugumo departamentas (VSD), hereinafter referred to as the VSD) about his acquaintance with Piotr Voyeyko and all the circumstances surrounding it as far back as in the process of his screening for authorisation to handle classified information. According to Article 18 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, the screening procedure consists of filling in the Questionnaire and inviting a person by the institution performing the screening to an interview, which is a constituent part of the screening procedure. Only if the person fails to appear or the required information is not given, is the inspection procedure terminated and the authorisation is not granted. Thus, he submitted the data about Piotr Voyeyko as far back as during the screening procedure, i.e. before its end; therefore, there are no grounds for stating that he has concealed this information from the VSD, sought to unlawfully access information constituting a state secret with the aim of using it in violation of the interests of the State of Lithuania or in other illegal ways.

Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys noted that, in 2006, he was granted authorisation to handle classified information. It is clear from the content of the interview in that year conducted by the VSD officials concerning authorisation to handle and access classified information that he was given no warning. On the contrary, the VSD, in response to his official inquiry whether the measure – an official warning – had been applied to him, as provided for in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Security Department, replied that no such measure had ever been applied to him.

3.2. It is stated in the explanations that the fact of the meeting with Vydas Gedvilas, the Speaker of the Seimas, in 2013, is unreasonably assessed as the weakening of Lithuania’s independence, a violation of the commitment to serving the Homeland, as well as a gross violation of the Constitution. During the meeting, they spoke about general energy topics. The Special Investigation Commission did not assess the fact that neither he nor Yevgeny Kostin nor Alexander Merten carried out actions threatening the security of the state, or influenced the Speaker of the Seimas, or made any requests, etc. Nor did it take into account the fact that the meeting was held in the building of the Seimas, but not in secret by using some conspiracy or similar means. As regards threats to national security, it should be ascertained that Mindaugas Bastys was able to carry out specific actions that posed a threat, but no such data exist nor can they exist.

3.3. According to the party concerned, the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission, while paying attention to instances of insignificant non-compliance of his testimony with events that happened long ago, formulates allegations that he acted in bad faith despite the fact that he has provided to the Special Investigation Commission detailed written explanations on all investigated issues on whose basis the impeachment proceedings have been started.

III

The material received in the case

4. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the following material relevant to the case has been received: the minutes of the meetings of the Special Investigation Commission, correspondence documents on the organisational activities of this commission, documents for the preparation of its meetings (hereinafter referred to as the materials of the Special Investigation Commission).

5. In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the following was also received: the VSD Letter (No 18-2180) of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas on the screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys (hereinafter referred to as the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas); the proposal of 14 March 2017 by the members of the Seimas to initiate impeachment proceedings against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; the letter of the state enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Ignalinos atominė elektrinė, hereinafter referred to as the Ignalina NPP) of 23 January 2013 to Jaroslav Neverovič, the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, on the provision of information.

IV

Persons who participated at the hearing of the Constitutional Court

6. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the representatives of the Seimas, the petitioner, who were Vytautas Bakas, the Chair of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence; Stasys Šedbaras, the Deputy Chair of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs; Andrius Kabišaitis, the Director of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas; Paulius Veršekys and Svetlana Zamara, advisers at the Public Law Unit of the same department; Vitalij Dmitrijev, the Head of the Office of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence; Erika Mikalajūnienė and Vita Misiūnienė, advisers at the Secretariat of the Commissions of the Office of the Seimas, based their explanations on the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission and supported the charges formulated in it. Seimas members Vytautas Bakas and Stasys Šedbaras, as well as Andrius Kabišaitis, the Director of the Legal Department of the Office of the Seimas, and Vitalij Dmitrijev, the Head of the Office of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, answered the questions posed to them.

7. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the person concerned, and his representatives – the advocates Raimundas Jurka and Egidijus Losis – virtually reiterated the arguments set out in the written explanations to the Constitutional Court, as well as provided additional explanations and answered the questions posed to them.

At the hearing, the Constitutional Court has dealt with the requests of the representatives of the party concerned.

8. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the witness Algirdas Bložė, an official of the VSD, was questioned.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

The actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys in terms of which an assessment is requested in the inquiry of the Seimas

9. On 30 October 2016, the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the decision (No Sp-270) on the determination and publication of the final results of the 9 October 2016 election of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, which was officially published on its website on the same day. In Item 4 of this decision, it was decided to determine, according to the final results of the election, the members of the Seimas elected in multi-member and single-member constituencies. This decision set out the list of such persons in its Annex 4, titled “The Persons Elected to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania”, which stipulates that Mindaugas Bastys was elected a member of the Seimas.

10. At the sitting of the Seimas of 14 November 2016, Mindaugas Bastys, an elected member of the Seimas, swore to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania; swore to respect and uphold its Constitution and laws and to protect the integrity of its lands; swore to strengthen, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to conscientiously serve his Homeland, democracy, and the welfare of the people of Lithuania. After taking the oath, he acquired all the rights of a representative of the Nation.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that Mindaugas Bastys was also elected a member of the Seimas of the terms of office of 2000–2004, 2008–2012, and 2012–2016 (the Central Electoral Commission’s decision (No 303) of 15 October 2000, its decision (No 191) of 2 November 2008, and its decision (No Sp-321) of 4 November 2012).

11. By the Seimas resolution (No XIII-83) of 13 December 2016 on electing Mindaugas Bastys as a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was elected as a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas.

12. According to the ordinance (No PP-134 RN) of the Speaker of the Seimas of 13 May 2015 on approving the lists of the subunits of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania that handle or keep information classified as “Top Secret”, “Secret”, “Confidential” and of the positions at the Seimas requiring authorisation to handle or access classified information as well as security clearance, a person in the position of a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas must have authorisation to handle or access information classified “Top Secret” (Item 8.1.1.1 of the conclusion reached after the parliamentary study, conducted by the Seimas at the Committee on National Security and Defence, on a possible threat to national security posed as a result of the relationships of Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and the possibilities to initiate impeachment proceedings, as approved by the Seimas resolution (No 187) of 18 April 2017 on the conclusion reached after the parliamentary study, conducted by the Seimas at the Committee on National Security and Defence, on a possible threat to national security posed as a result of the relationships of Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and the possibilities to initiate impeachment proceedings).

13. On 5 January 2017, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys filled in and signed the Questionnaire; the Questionnaire contains the classification “Top Secret” of information to be handled or accessed (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission; the Questionnaire filled in by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys on 5 January 2017; the Constitutional Court’s case no 12/2017 (hereinafter referred to as the CCc), vol. III, pp. 41a–49).

14. Having carried out the security screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys (Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was questioned on 15 February 2017 and 3 March 2017), the VSD informed the Speaker of the Seimas that, having regard to the information gathered during the security screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys and the assessment of this information, and in accordance with Item 20 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets (the person’s traits, other activities or relationships or other circumstances related to the person or facts that pose a threat to the security of the classified information entrusted to him/her were established in the course of the screening or have been established within the last three years), it objected to granting Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret” (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, pp. 57–63).

It is noted in this notification that, in the light of the provisions of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, the existing case law, the information received during the screening and other available information, the conclusion should be drawn that the relations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with the persons indicated in this notification, inter alia, with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko, as well as other circumstances, provided the grounds for doubting the reliability of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, also made him vulnerable, and would endanger the protection of information constituting a state secret if it were entrusted to him.

15. Based on the information contained in the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, which was made publicly available on 8 March 2017, 45 members of the Seimas submitted, on 14 March 2017, to the Seimas the proposal to initiate impeachment proceedings against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, in which it was stated that there were sufficient grounds for drawing the conclusion that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had grossly breached the oath by which he promised “to strengthen, to the best of his ability, the independence of Lithuania”, “to serve his Homeland conscientiously”, and “to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania”, because he had concealed his relationships with the persons indicated in the notification (inter alia, while filling in the Questionnaire, he did not indicate Piotr Voyeyko); it is also indicated in the proposal that the said relationships made Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys vulnerable and posed a threat to the national security of Lithuania, as well as raised a reasonable suspicion that he acted not representing the interests of the Republic of Lithuania, but those of another state (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, pp. 79–83).

16. By Article 1 of the resolution (No XIII-230) of 16 March 2017 on forming the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings, the Seimas formed the Special Investigation Commission.

The Seimas resolution (No XIII-230) of 16 March 2017 was amended several times by the following resolutions: the Seimas resolution (No XIII-286) of 18 April 2017 on amending the Seimas resolution (No XIII-230) of 16 March 2017 on forming the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings, which changed the composition of the Special Investigation Commission and extended the time of the investigation conducted by this commission as well as the time of the preparation of a conclusion; the Seimas resolution (No XIII-316) of 25 April 2017 on amending the Seimas resolution (No XIII-230) of 16 March 2017 on forming the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings, which changed the composition of the Special Investigation Commission; the Seimas resolution (No XIII-349) of 9 May 2017 on amending the Seimas resolution (No XIII-230) of 16 March 2017 on forming the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings, which extended the time of the investigation conducted by this commission and the time of the preparation of conclusion.

17. On 16 March 2017, the Seimas adopted the resolution (No XIII-231) on commissioning the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to conduct a parliamentary investigation into alleged threats to national security posed by the relationships of Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and the possibilities of initiating impeachment proceedings, whose preamble, inter alia, emphasised that this parliamentary investigation into the threat to national security will help to decide on possible impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, and, in Article 2 thereof, the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence (Nacionalinio saugumo ir gynybos komitetas (NSGK), hereinafter referred to as the NSGK) was obliged to do the following:

1) to determine whether Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys acted against the interests of the State of Lithuania by maintaining close and permanent relationships with the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation, which started the construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant in the Kaliningrad Region and the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus;

2) to determine whether the close relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with former or existing officials of the intelligence and security structures of the Russian Federation, journalists close to the Kremlin, as well as with former or current representatives of the criminal world, pose a threat to national security;

3) to determine the influence wielded over, and damage inflicted on, the State of Lithuania by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, when interceding on behalf of officials of state enterprises of the Russian Federation, as well as of its intelligence and security structures, on behalf of journalists close to the Kremlin and former or existing representatives of the criminal world, who were seeking to influence the parties of the ruling coalitions formed in the 2012–2016 term of office of the Seimas and after the 2016 Seimas election, as well as individual representatives of political parties, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, ministers, members of the Seimas, other state institutions and their decisions, and to assess whether there has been any impact on political processes;

4) to determine whether the information accumulated by the relevant state institutions or additionally disclosed during the investigation about Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, his relationships and activity, is sufficient for initiating impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.”

18. On 29 March 2017, the Special Investigation Commission decided that it would continue its work after the Seimas had received the conclusions drawn by the NSGK on the possible threats to national security posed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys and the possibility of initiating impeachment proceedings (the minutes (No 309-P-2) of the closed meeting of the Special Investigation Commission of 29 March 2017, the CCc, vol. II, p. 11).

19. By the resolution (No XIII-285) of 18 April 2017 on the conclusion of the parliamentary investigation conducted by the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania into alleged threats to national security posed by the relationships of Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and the possibilities of initiating impeachment proceedings, the Seimas assented to the conclusion of the parliamentary investigation conducted by the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania into alleged threats to national security posed by the relationships of Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, and the possibilities of initiating impeachment proceedings (hereinafter also referred to as the NSGK conclusion), which, inter alia, states:

– “Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys acted against the interests of the State of Lithuania by maintaining close and permanent relationships with the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation, which started the construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant in the Kaliningrad Region and the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus” (Item 8.1.3);

– “The close relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with former or existing officials of the intelligence and security structures of the Russian Federation, journalists close to the Kremlin, as well as with former or current representatives of the criminal world, pose a threat to national security” (Item 8.2.3);

– “Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, when interceding on behalf of officials of state enterprises of the Russian Federation, as well as of its intelligence and security structures, on behalf of journalists close to the Kremlin and former or existing representatives of the criminal world, sought to influence the political processes and the highest state officials in Lithuania, who could have changed Lithuania’s geopolitical direction and caused damage to the State of Lithuania” (Item 8.3.2);

– “The Statute of the Seimas does not confer any powers on the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, acting as a provisional investigation commission, to conclude whether the information accumulated by the relevant state institutions or information additionally disclosed during the investigation about Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, his relationships and activity, is sufficient for instituting impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys. The preparation and presentation of such a conclusion is within the responsibility of the Special Investigation Commission, which was formed by the Seimas resolution (No XIII-230) of 30 March 2017 on forming the Special Investigation Commission of the Seimas for the Investigation into the Reasonableness of the Submitted Proposals to Begin Impeachment Proceedings against Seimas Member Mindaugas Bastys and for Drawing up a Conclusion regarding the Grounds for Beginning the Impeachment Proceedings” (Item 8.4.3).

20. On 31 May 2017, the Special Investigation Commission adopted the conclusion acknowledging that the proposal of the group of members of the Seimas to begin impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was justified and held that there were grounds to begin at the Seimas impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

21. By Article 1 of its resolution (No XIII-411) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas assented to the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission.

By its resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas decided to begin impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys (Article 1) and applied to the Constitutional Court, requesting a conclusion whether the concrete actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys specified in the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission were in conflict with the Constitution (Article 2).

22. From the content of the Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, which contains the inquiry to the Constitutional Court, as well as from the content of the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission (see Item 2 of this conclusion of the Constitutional Court), to which, as mentioned above, the Seimas assented by its resolution (No XIII-411) of 6 June 2017 and which served as the basis for beginning impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, it is clear that the Seimas asks the Constitutional Court to assess whether the following actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys are in conflict with the Constitution:

1) in replying to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having violated imperative requirements laid down in legal acts and acting in bad faith, he sought to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information; upon obtaining this authorisation, due to his relationships, he could pose a threat to the protection of state secrets;

2) while questioned before the VSD and before the Committee on National Security and Defence, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided different explanations as to whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB;

3) at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Mindaugas Bastys organised the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation (hereinafter also referred to as the Rosatom Corporation) with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania while seeking to ensure political support for the plans of this corporation in Lithuania;

4) while providing explanations to the officials of the VSD and to the Committee on National Security and Defence, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, as well as their significance and nature, and avoided answering questions he was asked in the course of the investigation, i.e. he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania; he sought to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant; he denied he had been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius because of the organisation of a meeting with representatives of the Rosatom Corporation; he denied he had met with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD; and provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin.

In this context, it should be noted that Item 5 of the operative part of the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission does not indicate any concrete actions by which the Constitution could be violated; it contains an assessment of the actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys in terms of which the Constitutional Court is asked to give an assessment (according to the assessment of the Special Investigation Commission, when bringing discredit on the authority of the Seimas and state power, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys breached the oath and grossly violated the Constitution).

II

The official constitutional doctrine of the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas

23. In its acts, the Constitutional Court has formulated a broad legal doctrine of the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas.

24. The Constitutional Court has held that, under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas is a professional politician, i.e. such a representative of the Nation whose work at the Seimas is his/her professional activity; a member of the Seimas – a professional politician and state official – has his/her mandate as a representative of the Nation during his/her whole term of office (incumbency), i.e. he/she can perform all duties of a representative of the Nation since the moment when he/she acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation after he/she takes an oath in the Seimas to the Republic of Lithuania according to the Constitution until the moment when his/her duties as those of a member of the Seimas terminate due to the reasons established in the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 10 February 2005).

24.1. Paragraph 1 of Article 59 of the Constitution prescribes: “The term of powers of the Members of the Seimas shall begin to be counted from the day on which the newly elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting. The term of powers of the previously elected Members of the Seimas shall expire at the beginning of this sitting.”

In interpreting these provisions of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has noted that, according to the Constitution, after the Seimas has been elected, there is a certain time period until the newly-elected Seimas convenes for its first sitting and when the new Seimas begins to function as an institution of state authority; during this period, the Seimas that is finishing its office continues to enjoy all the powers granted to it by the Constitution and laws; from the announcement of the election results until its first sitting, the newly-elected Seimas still does not function as an institution of state authority, as the elected members of the Seimas have not acquired all the rights of the representatives of the Nation yet (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 23 November 1999).

Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution prescribes that an elected member of the Seimas acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking at the Seimas an oath to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania. The Constitutional Court has held that, according to the Constitution, as such, the election of a member of the Seimas does not mean that the elected member of the Seimas acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation; under the Constitution, the acquisition of all the rights of a representative of the Nation is linked with the oath of a member of the Seimas; such an oath must be taken by an elected member of the Seimas at a sitting of the Seimas; a member of the Seimas does not have all the rights of a representative of the Nation until he/she takes an oath – such an elected member of the Seimas is not a representative of the Nation yet, he/she does not have the powers of a member of the Seimas and may not exercise them yet (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2004).

24.2. Article 63 of the Constitution establishes the grounds for the cessation of the powers of a member of the Seimas, inter alia, it states that the powers of a member of the Seimas cease “upon the expiry of the term of powers, or when the Seimas elected in an early election convenes for the first sitting” (Item 1).

24.3. When interpreting the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution and the provisions of Article 63 of this Constitution in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that the beginning of the exercise of the powers of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation is tied to taking the oath of a member of the Seimas, as specified in the Constitution: a member of the Seimas acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after he/she has taken an oath; the taken oath binds a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation during all duration of his/her term of powers, i.e. from the moment when he/she, having taken an oath to the Republic of Lithuania under the Constitution, acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation until the moment when his/her powers as a member of the Seimas cease on any of the grounds set out in Article 63 of the Constitution, inter alia, when the newly elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting after the expiry of the term of powers (incumbency) of members the Seimas (Item 1 of Article 63 of the Constitution). Therefore, according to the Constitution, after the cessation of the powers of a member of the Seimas, the oath of the member of the Seimas taken by him/her is no longer binding.

25. As mentioned above, Paragraph 2 of Article 59 of the Constitution prescribes that an elected member of the Seimas acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation only after taking at the Seimas an oath to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania.

25.1. The text of the oath of a member of the Seimas is established in Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, which is a constituent part of the Constitution:

I, (full name),

swear to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania;

swear to respect and uphold its Constitution and laws and to protect the integrity of its lands;

swear to strengthen, to the best of my ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to conscientiously serve my Homeland, democracy, and the welfare of the people of Lithuania.

So help me God.”

Under this article, the oath may also be taken by omitting the last sentence.

25.2. Interpreting these constitutional provisions, the Constitutional Court has noted that:

by taking the oath, a member of the Seimas assumes an unconditional obligation to observe all the values referred to in the oath; thus, the act of the oath of a member of the Seimas is constitutionally legally significant: when taking the oath, an elected member of the Seimas publicly and solemnly assumes an obligation to act in the way that the oath taken obliges and to breach the oath under no circumstances (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 1 July 2004, and its conclusion of 27 October 2010); the oath of a member of the Seimas gives rise to the duty of a member of the Seimas to respect and execute the Constitution and laws, as well as to conscientiously perform the duties of a representative of the Nation in the manner as the Constitution obliges him/her to act (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2004);

in discharging their functions and implementing state authority, members of the Seimas must act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, not in their personal or group interests, and not make use of their status in order to gain personal advantage either for themselves, persons close to them, or other persons (the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 27 October 2010 and 3 June 2014);

the oath of a member of the Seimas and the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas give rise to the requirement that a member of the Seimas, inter alia, must act in good faith, while communicating with the electorate and representatives of the public, must give true facts regarding the discharge of his/her duties, and avoid conduct that degrades the reputation and authority of the Seimas – the representation of the Nation (the Constitutional Court’s conclusion of 27 October 2010).

26. Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution prescribes: “While in office, the Members of the Seimas shall follow the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the interests of the State, as well as their own consciences, and may not be restricted by any mandates.”

26.1. Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution consolidates the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to follow the Constitution and the interests of the state, as well as one of the major elements of the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas – the free mandate of a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation.

26.2. Interpreting the principle of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, enshrined in Paragraph 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has noted:

the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, as a representative of the Nation, implies the constitutional obligation of a member of the Seimas to represent the Nation (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 27 October 2010 and 3 June 2014);

the essence of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas lies in the right of a representative of the Nation to implement the rights and duties established for him/her without restricting this freedom by the mandates of the electorate or by the political requirements of the parties or organisations that nominated him/her (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 26 November 1993, 9 November 1999, and 1 July 2004);

while being in office and implementing their rights, members of the Seimas are bound by the oath of a member of the Seimas that they have taken, which obliges members of the Seimas to follow the Constitution, the interests of the state, as well as their own consciences, and not to be restricted by any mandates; the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, which is consolidated in the Constitution, may not be understood as permission for a member of the Seimas always to act at discretion, to follow his/her conscience, and to ignore the Constitution; the Constitution implies such a notion of the discretion of a member of the Seimas and the conscience of a member of the Seimas whereby no gap must exist between the discretion of a member of the Seimas and the conscience of a member of the Seimas, on the one hand, and the requirements of the Constitution, as well as the values protected and defended by the Constitution, on the other hand: according to the Constitution, the discretion of a member of the Seimas and his/her conscience must be oriented towards the Constitution, and the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 1 July 2004);

the free mandate of a member of the Seimas is not a privilege of a representative of the Nation, but one of the legal measures ensuring that the Nation will be properly represented in its democratically elected representation, the Seimas, and that the representation of the Nation, the Seimas, will act only in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania; the free mandate of a member of the Seimas may not be used in the interests other than those of the Nation and the State of Lithuania; the free mandate of a member of the Seimas may not be used for the private benefit of a member of the Seimas, his/her close relatives or other persons, or in their personal or group interests, or in the interests of the political parties or political organisations, the public or other organisations, the other persons, or the territorial communities that nominated or supported the said person as a candidate for the office of a member of the Seimas, or in the interests of the voters of the constituency in which the said member of the Seimas was elected, i.e. it may not be used to serve particular interests; under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas is not a representative of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, interest groups, territorial communities or the voters of the constituency in which he/she was elected, but a member of the Seimas represents the entire Nation; the free mandate of a member of the Seimas must be used in such a way that the Seimas could act effectively in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and that it would properly discharge its constitutional obligation; the duty of a member of the Seimas to act in the way that the oath taken by the member of the Seimas obliges, while paying regard to the requirements stemming from the Constitution and the laws that are not in conflict with it, may not be interpreted as meaning a restriction of the constitutional principle of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas; if a member of the Seimas disregards the aforementioned requirements of the Constitution, he/she must be held liable pursuant to the Constitution and laws (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 1 July 2004).

27. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, the constitutional principle of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas must be interpreted in the light of the concept of pluralistic democracy, which is entrenched in the Constitution.

27.1. The Constitutional Court has noted that, under the Constitution, Lithuania is a pluralistic democracy (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 21 December 2006); the recognition of the parliamentary opposition is a necessary element of pluralistic democracy (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 January 2001 and 4 April 2006).

27.2. When interpreting Article 25 of the Constitution, which establishes the human right to have convictions and freely express them, the Constitutional Court has noted that every human being has his/her views and convictions; the unrestricted possibility of expressing views and convictions is an elementary precondition for communicating with other people; free and universal exchange of information and imparting it in an unrestricted manner are a particularly important factor in democratic processes. This factor ensures not only the formation of individual opinions and subjective convictions, but also that of group views, including political will, as well as the formation of the will of the whole Nation; that is precisely why freedom of information is a fundamental element of a pluralistic democracy (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 February 1997).

The Constitutional Court has also held that the freedom to express convictions may be limited under the procedure provided for by law and only in cases where this is necessary to protect the values pointed out in Paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, i.e. human health, honour or dignity, private life, or morals, or to defend the constitutional order (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 June 2000 and 8 July 2005).

27.3. In this context, it should be mentioned that the members of the Seimas may not be persecuted for their votes or speeches at the Seimas (however, they may be held liable for personal insult or defamation) (Paragraph 3 of Article 62 of the Constitution).

27.4. Thus, when interpreting the constitutional principle of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas in the context of the concept of a pluralistic democracy, which is entrenched in the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas may have and freely express convictions that are different from those of the majority of members of the Seimas; inter alia, a member of the Seimas is not obliged to share the same view with the majority of the members of the Seimas on the concept of state interests. Therefore, under the Constitution, a member of the Seimas, as a representative of the Nation, may communicate with various people, inter alia, with people whose views and convictions differ from those held by the majority of members of the Seimas or the majority of members of society. However, in view of the constitutional concept of the free mandate of a member of the Seimas, when communicating with other people, a member of the Seimas, as a representative of the Nation, must follow the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, which are oriented towards the Constitution and values protected under the Constitution, rather than his/her own interests or the interests of his/her close persons, political parties, organisations, or interest groups, or other personal, private, or group interests, inter alia, the interests of another state or persons related to that state that are contrary to the interests of the Republic of Lithuania.

27.5. At the same time, it should be noted that the activities of state officials related to the implementation of the functions of state power and administration are always of a public nature (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 8 May 2000). This also applies to the activities of the Seimas members as representatives of the Nation.

28. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the constitutionally established oath of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated in Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated, inter alia, in Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution, give rise to the duties of a member of the Seimas, inter alia, to be loyal to the Republic of Lithuania, respect and observe its Constitution and laws, conscientiously perform the duties of a representative of the Nation, and act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania.

28.1. These constitutional duties of a member of the Seimas imply, inter alia, the duty to protect state secrets that become known to a member of the Seimas in the course of performing his/her duties of a representative of the Nation. As the Constitutional Court noted, inter alia, in its rulings of 15 May 2007 and 7 July 2011, the state secret is a constitutional institution; the state secret is such information not to be disclosed and not to be imparted whose disclosure could cause harm to the state as the common good of the entire society and the political organisation of the entire society, whose purpose is ensuring human rights and freedoms and guaranteeing the public interest; the disclosure of a state secret may pose a threat to, or even inflict damage on, the sovereignty of the state, its territorial integrity, constitutional order and defence power, other especially important state interests and the bases of the life of society and the state; if the disclosure (finding out, dissemination) of information constituting a state secret were not prevented, the preconditions would be created for the violation of even the most important relations regulated, defended, and protected by the Constitution; thus, the preconditions would be created for giving priority to the interest of a certain person or persons to know and impart certain information at the expense of the public interest.

28.2. Under the Constitution, the state has the duty to guarantee not only the protection of the secrecy of information constituting a state secret, but also the protection of the secrecy of certain other information, namely that there would be no arbitrary attempts to find out or impart the information whose disclosure could inflict damage on the rights and freedoms as well as legitimate interests of a person and on the other values entrenched in, and defended and protected by, the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 May 2007 and 7 July 2011, and its decision of 3 July 2013).

28.2.1. In this context, it should be noted that certain requirements are raised for a person who is granted the right to access information constituting a state secret; such requirements are related with the person’s reliability and loyalty to the State of Lithuania, which should be linked to the trust of the state in that person (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 May 2007 and 7 July 2011, and its decision of 3 July 2013); when state institutions decide whether a person has the right to handle or access information that constitutes a state secret (or other classified information), it is necessary to pay regard to the imperative that, in order that a person would have such a right, the state must have unconditional confidence in him/her (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 May 2007 and 7 July 2011).

Thus, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, under the Constitution, the condition of absolute reliability and of loyalty to the State of Lithuania is imposed on those members of the Seimas who, when carrying out their duties, can learn a state secret (such information not to be disclosed and not to be imparted whose disclosure could cause harm to the state as the common good of the entire society and the political organisation of the entire society, i.e. could violate the most important relations regulated, defended, and protected under the Constitution).

28.2.2. As the Constitutional Court has noted on more than one occasion, the distrust of the state in a certain person can be determined by the activity of that person, inter alia, by committed violations of law, as well as personal qualities of that person, his/her relationships, and other important circumstances; authorisation to access state secrets may be granted only to such persons whose activity, personal qualities, connections, etc. cannot give rise to the apprehension that, in case they learn a state secret, a threat will be posed to, all the more that damage will be inflicted on, the sovereignty of the state, its territorial integrity, constitutional order and defence power, other especially important state interests and the bases of the life of society and the state, and that there will be violations of the most important relations regulated, defended, and protected by the Constitution, which can be protected and defended specifically by the fact that certain information, according to laws, is classified (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 May 2007 and 7 July 2011).

Thus, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the reliability and loyalty to the State of Lithuania of the members of the Seimas, who, when carrying out their duties, can learn a state secret, must be assessed in the light of all important circumstances that characterise the person of a member of the Seimas, inter alia, his/her activities, his/her business and personal qualities, his/her reputation, relations with other persons, as well as violations of law committed by him/her. It should be noted that one of the most important qualities of a person who, when carrying out his/her duties, can learn a state secret, is his/her integrity, inter alia, when providing the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) with all the required information, including information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets.

28.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the aforementioned constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to protect state secrets, as well as the aforementioned requirement, which stems from the oath and constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, that a member of the Seimas must act in good faith, determines the duty of a member of the Seimas to provide, in a fair manner, the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) with all the required information, inter alia, information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets. Failure to fulfil this duty can give grounds for doubting the integrity of the member of the Seimas (inter alia, his/her fulfilment of other duties of a representative of the Nation), his/her acting in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, his/her respect for the Constitution and laws, and thus his/her loyalty to the Republic of Lithuania; the unfair provision of information to the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) can also lead to a situation where a person who is not reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania will be able to access a state secret and, thereby, pose a threat to the protection of state secrets and, thus, also to the values consolidated and protected under the Constitution.

III

The official constitutional doctrine of impeachment

29. The Constitutional Court has consistently held that state officials must enjoy the confidence of the citizens, i.e. the national community (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 25 May 2004, and its conclusions of 27 October 2010 and 19 December 2017). In order that the citizens – the national community – could reasonably trust state officials so that it would be possible to ascertain that all state institutions and all state officials follow the Constitution and law and obey them, and that those who do not obey the Constitution and law would not hold the office for which the confidence of the citizens – the national community – is needed, it is necessary to ensure a public democratic control over the activity of the state officials and their accountability to society comprising, inter alia, the possibility of removing from office those state officials who violate the Constitution and law, who bring their personal interests or the interests of a certain group above the public interests, or who bring discredit on state authority by their actions (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 13 December 2004, and its conclusion of 19 December 2017).

30. One of the forms of this public democratic control is the constitutional institution of impeachment (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 25 May 2004, and its conclusions of 27 October 2010 and 19 December 2017).

This institution is enshrined in Article 74 of the Constitution, which, inter alia, prescribes: “The President of the Republic, the President and justices of the Constitutional Court, the President and justices of the Supreme Court, the President and judges of the Court of Appeal, as well as any Members of the Seimas, who grossly violate the Constitution or breach their oath, or are found to have committed a crime, may be removed from office or have the mandate of a Member of the Seimas revoked by a 3/5 majority vote of all the Members of the Seimas. This shall be performed according to the procedure for impeachment proceedings, which shall be established by the Statute of the Seimas.”

30.1. The Constitutional Court has noted that the objective of impeachment proceedings is the decision of the question of the constitutional liability of the persons listed in Article 74 of the Constitution; the application of the constitutional sanction of removal from office, which is entrenched in the Constitution, in respect of the President of the Republic, members of the Seimas, the President and justices of the Constitutional Court, the President and justices of the Supreme Court, and the President and judges of the Court of Appeal, is one of the measures of the self-protection of the national community, the civil Nation, a way of its own defence from the aforesaid highest officials of state power if they ignore the Constitution and law, where they are prohibited from holding a certain office, as they do not fulfil their obligation unconditionally to follow the Constitution and law and to follow the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, and who bring discredit on state authority by their actions (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 5 September 2012, and its conclusion of 19 December 2017).

30.2. The persons specified in Article 74 of the Constitution may be removed from office (or their mandate of a member of the Seimas may be revoked) through impeachment proceedings for the actions provided for in the Constitution: a gross violation of the Constitution, a breach of the oath, or the commission of a crime (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 15 April 2004 and 24 February 2007).

It should be noted that these grounds for impeachment are not identical and may not be interpreted in the same manner.

30.2.1. As noted by the Constitutional Court in its ruling of 24 February 2017, the impeachment grounds of being “found to have committed a crime”, as specified in Article 74 of the Constitution, are not linked to the time when a crime is committed; specifically, it is only the fact of having committed a crime that must be found while a person indicated in Article 74 of the Constitution is in office; the preconditions for bringing discredit on state power can be created not only in cases where it transpires that the persons specified in Article 74 of the Constitution have committed a crime while holding their respective office, but also where state power is exercised while implementing certain functions by persons specified in Article 74 of the Constitution who committed a crime before taking up their respective office and these circumstances transpire already when they are in this office.

It should be mentioned that, where the impeachment grounds of being “found to have committed a crime” are applied, the Constitutional Court does not have the powers to assess the constitutionality of such respective actions where they cannot be deemed a gross violation of the Constitution and a breach of the oath precisely due to the fact that the said actions were performed before the oath of a member of the Seimas was taken; otherwise, the constitutional concept of impeachment would be disregarded (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 24 February 2017).

30.2.2. The other grounds indicated in Article 74 of the Constitution for impeachment – a gross violation of the Constitution and a breach of the oath – from the aspect of the time of committing the actions constituting these grounds, should be assessed differently compared to the grounds of being “found to have committed a crime”.

The wording of Article 74 of the Constitution, under which the Seimas may remove the persons specified in this article from office through impeachment proceedings if they “grossly violate the Constitution or breach their oath”, makes it clear that importance falls not only on the time when the actions grossly violating the Constitution or breaching the oath transpire; the time of committing these actions is also important, i.e. it is important that such actions are committed by the person not at any time, but while holding the office referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution, which may be entered only after taking an oath provided for in the Constitution, and while being bound by the oath.

It should be noted that impeachment proceedings are not an objective in itself. It has been mentioned that the objective of impeachment proceedings is to decide the question of the constitutional liability of the persons listed in Article 74 of the Constitution. The content of the constitutional sanction (constitutional liability) applied through impeachment proceedings for a gross violation of the Constitution and a breach of the oath comprises both the removal from office of the person who has grossly violated the Constitution and breached the oath and the prohibition stemming therefrom that prevents such a person in the future from holding any constitutionally established office that can be entered only after taking an oath provided for in the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 25 May 2004 and 5 September 2012, and its conclusion of 19 December 2017).

Thus, removal from office as a constitutional sanction applied through impeachment proceedings must be related to a gross violation of the Constitution and a breach of the binding oath committed while holding this office (rather than other office or office held previously), i.e. the purpose of this sanction is to remove a person indicated in Article 74 of the Constitution specifically from the office being held by that person – such office that he/she entered after taking a particular oath and was holding at the time when he/she breached his/her binding oath. Obviously, it is impossible to remove a person from office that he/she is no longer holding after his/her powers have expired (ceased); therefore, the constitutional liability of a person indicated in Article 74 of the Constitution for a gross violation of the Constitution or a breach of the oath committed at the time when he/she was holding the said office is also impossible. In addition, the interpretation of the Constitution in a way that a person referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution could be removed from office through impeachment proceedings for such a gross violation of the Constitution or a breach of the oath that was committed at the time when he/she was holding in the past the office provided for in Article 74 of the Constitution, the constitutional liability could be a manifestly disproportionate measure against those persons specified in Article 74 of the Constitution who would themselves confess to having committed a gross violation of the Constitution or a breach of the oath and would resign from the office referred to in in Article 74 even before impeachment begins (or before it ends); even such persons, should they take up again the positions referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution, would always be faced with the risk that they will be impeached and constitutional liability will be applied against them for the gross violation of the Constitution and the breach of the oath to which they confessed and which were committed by them while being in the office from which they resigned.

30.2.3. As mentioned above, according to the interpretation of the provisions of Paragraphs 1 of 2 of Article 59 and those of Article 63 of the Constitution, the taken oath binds a member of the Seimas as a representative of the Nation during all duration of his/her term of powers, i.e. from the moment when he/she, having taken an oath to the Republic of Lithuania under the Constitution, acquires all the rights of a representative of the Nation until the moment when his/her powers as a member of the Seimas cease on any of the grounds set out in Article 63 of the Constitution, inter alia, when the newly elected Seimas convenes for the first sitting after the expiry of the term of powers (incumbency) of members the Seimas (Item 1 of Article 63 of the Constitution); according to the Constitution, after the cessation of the powers of a member of the Seimas, the oath of a member of the Seimas taken by him/her is no longer binding.

Thus, under the Constitution, inter alia, Article 74 thereof, it is impossible to apply constitutional liability to a member of the Seimas through impeachment proceedings for his/her actions that may have grossly violated the Constitution and breached his/her oath if these actions were committed during a previous term of office of the member of the Seimas (during the exercise of powers held previously). Accordingly, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has no powers to assess, in terms of compliance with the Constitution, such actions of a member of the Seimas that were committed during his/her previous term of office as a member of the Seimas (during the exercise of powers held previously), i.e. at the time before the member of the Seimas took his/her currently binding oath of a member of the Seimas.

30.2.4. In this context, it should be noted that, under the Constitution, it would be possible to apply impeachment to a member of the Seimas for his/her actions that were committed during his/her previous term of office as a member of the Seimas and may have grossly violated the Constitution and breached his/her oath binding at that time if such actions were also criminal, i.e. upon the impeachment grounds of being “found to have committed a crime”. In any case, the actions of a member of the Seimas that were committed during his/her previous term of office as a member of the Seimas and may have grossly violated the Constitution and breached his/her oath binding at that time could provide the grounds, according to Article 75 of the Constitution, for expressing no confidence in such a member of the Seimas and dismissing him/her from the office at the Seimas for which he/she was appointed or elected by the Seimas or such actions of a member of the Seimas could also be an object for an investigation by an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas if they were of particular importance, i.e. of state importance (in view of the fact that, as noted by the Constitutional Court on more than one occasion, provisional investigation commissions of the Seimas can be formed for an investigation into not any, but only special questions, i.e. those of state importance).

30.3. The Constitutional Court has noted more than once that a breach of the oath is also a gross violation of the Constitution, while a gross violation of the Constitution is also a breach of the oath. However, not every violation of the Constitution is in itself a gross violation of the Constitution; when deciding whether a member of the Seimas has grossly violated the Constitution by his/her actions, it is necessary in each case to assess the nature of the actions, the content, circumstances, time, place, systematicity, repeatedness, and duration of their performance, the conduct of the person who carried out the said actions after their commission, and other significant circumstances (the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 27 October 2010, 3 June 2014, and 19 December 2017).

31. Under Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 105 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court presents a conclusion on whether the concrete actions of members of the Seimas and state officials against whom an impeachment case has been instituted are in conflict with the Constitution. It has been mentioned that, according to Article 74 of the Constitution, the Seimas may revoke, under the procedure for impeachment proceedings, the mandate of a member of the Seimas by a 3/5 majority vote of all the members.

Paragraph 3 of Article 107 of the Constitution stipulates that, on the basis of the conclusions of the Constitutional Court, the Seimas takes a final decision on the issues specified in Paragraph 3 of Article 105 of the Constitution.

32. It should be noted that, in its rulings of 15 April 2004 and 25 May 2004, and in its conclusion of 19 December 2017, when interpreting Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 105 and Paragraph 3 of Article 107 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court held that:

under the Constitution, only two state institutions – the Seimas and the Constitutional Court – have powers in impeachment proceedings; no other institutions are granted powers by the Constitution to participate in the conduct of impeachment;

each of these state institutions are assigned, under the Constitution, the powers that are in line with their functions in impeachment proceedings: an impeachment case may be instituted only on a proposal (initiative) of members of the Seimas; a conclusion on whether the concrete actions of a person against whom an impeachment case has been instituted are in conflict with the Constitution is presented by the Constitutional Court; if the Constitutional Court draws the conclusion that the person against whom an impeachment case has been instituted has grossly violated the Constitution, the Seimas may remove such a person from office or may revoke his/her mandate of a member of the Seimas by not less than 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the Seimas;

under the Constitution, only the Constitutional Court has the powers to decide whether the persons specified in Article 74 of the Constitution have grossly violated the Constitution if against them an impeachment case has been instituted (in view of the fact that a gross violation of the Constitution is also a breach of the oath, it has the powers to decide whether such persons have breached the oath); the conclusion of the Constitution Court that a person has grossly violated the Constitution (and, thus, has breached the oath) is final; no state institution, no state official, no other entity may change or revoke such a conclusion of the Constitution Court;

if the Seimas, while following the Constitution, removes from office a state official specified in Article 74 of the Constitution or revokes his/her mandate of a member of the Seimas through impeachment proceedings, such a decision of the Seimas is final.

32.1. A member of the Seimas or a state official against whom impeachment is being, or has been, instituted has the right, as well as the obligation stemming from his/her oath, to participate in the impeachment proceedings; a member of the Seimas or a state official who has taken the oath to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania and to respect and execute its Constitution and laws must respect state power institutions; a member of the Seimas or a state official against whom impeachment is being, or has been, instituted has the obligation to arrive, when requested, at the state institutions that have constitutional powers in impeachment proceedings and to provide explanations for the actions that are a subject matter of the investigation and assessment carried out by these institutions (the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 3 June 2014 and 19 December 2017).

32.2. In its conclusion of 19 December 2017, the Constitutional Court, when interpreting the issues related to the beginning of impeachment proceedings in the Seimas, held that, inter alia:

under the Constitution, impeachment proceedings begin only after the Seimas adopts a resolution on the beginning in the Seimas of impeachment proceedings against a concrete person; actions preceding the beginning of impeachment, i.e. before the Seimas adopts such a resolution (where such actions include, inter alia, the initiative of members of the Seimas to begin impeachment or the investigation of the validity of the charges brought by them in a commission formed by the Seimas or in another structural unit of the Seimas), do not constitute a stage of impeachment proceedings;

the actions preceding impeachment, i.e. before the Seimas adopts a resolution on the beginning in the Seimas of impeachment proceedings against a concrete person (inter alia, the initiative of the members of the Seimas to begin impeachment, the investigation into the validity of the charges filed by them in a commission formed by the Seimas or in another structural unit of the Seimas), constitute a parliamentary procedure, which must not be regarded as a legal process stricto sensu, since, in the course of this parliamentary procedure, the Seimas does not decide on the application of constitutional liability of a person, but only whether there are grounds for beginning an impeachment;

this parliamentary procedure must be regulated in such a way that would ensure due process, which means, inter alia, that a person against whom impeachment may be instituted must have a real opportunity to know what he/she is being accused of, to submit his/her explanations to the Seimas, or to a commission formed by the Seimas, or to another structural unit of the Seimas that investigates the validity of the charges brought against the said person, or, at the sitting of the Seimas in which it is decided on whether to begin impeachment, to respond to the arguments on which the charges against this person are based.

32.3. In this context, it should be noted that a member of the Seimas or public official against whom impeachment may be instituted is also obliged to participate in the parliamentary procedure before the commencement of impeachment (inter alia, in the course of investigating in a commission formed by the Seimas or in another structural unit of the Seimas the validity of charges brought by members of the Seimas) and, when summoned, to attend meetings of the commission formed by the Seimas or those of another structural unit of the Seimas that performs this procedure and to provide explanations regarding the investigated actions. The requirement for due process in this parliamentary procedure implies such a process during which a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted could effectively exercise the mentioned rights, inter alia, be aware of the charges brought against him/her, provide his/her explanations, and respond to the arguments on which the charges against him/her are based. Therefore, this parliamentary procedure must, inter alia, be such that a commission set up by the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas would investigate the validity of charges brought by the members of the Seimas (or the structural subunit of the Seimas) initiating impeachment, rather than would formulate charges that are in principle new and have not been brought by the entities initiating impeachment, in particular on the grounds of the explanations provided to the said commission of the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas by the member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted; otherwise, the preconditions would be created for deterring a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted from exercising the above-mentioned rights of due process.

33. Under the Constitution, the constitutional duty is established for the Constitutional Court to investigate whether a member of the Seimas has carried out the concrete actions specified in the respective inquiry to the Constitutional Court and to assess whether these actions are in conflict with the Constitution and whether the Constitution has been grossly violated. While investigating whether the concrete actions of a member of the Seimas, which are specified in the corresponding inquiry of the Seimas, are in conflict with the Constitution, and whether the Constitution has been grossly violated, the Constitutional Court investigates and assesses the evidence provided, together with the inquiry, to the Constitutional Court, as well as all the other evidence acquired in the course of the consideration of the case before the Constitutional Court, which either confirms or denies the fact that a particular member of the Seimas has carried out the concrete actions specified in the inquiry, that these actions are in conflict with the Constitution, and that the Constitution has been grossly violated (the Constitutional Court’s conclusions of 27 October 2010, 3 June 2014, and 19 December 2017).

IV

The assessment of the constitutionality of the action performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying in Item 55 of the Questionnaire to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard”, Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having failed to fulfil imperative requirements laid down in legal acts and acting in bad faith, he sought to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information; upon obtaining this authorisation, due to his relationships, he could pose a threat to the protection of state secrets

34. In the inquiry set out in its resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas asks the Constitutional Court to present a conclusion, inter alia, whether the action performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying in Item 55 of the Questionnaire to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard”, Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having failed to fulfil imperative requirements laid down in legal acts and acting in bad faith, he sought to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information; upon obtaining this authorisation, due to his relationships, he could pose a threat to the protection of state secrets – is in conflict with the Constitution.

35. The conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission points out, inter alia, that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having violated imperative requirements laid down in legal acts and acting in bad faith, he sought to access state secrets in the case where his activity, traits, or relationships could give reason to fear that he could pose a threat to the protection of secrets. Thus, the state interest to protect classified information from persons who do not have complete confidence was undermined and the constitutional significance of state secrets was trampled upon. By such actions, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys discredited not only his own authority as a member of the Seimas, but also the authority of the Seimas as the legislature of the Republic of Lithuania.

36. In the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the Special Investigation Commission, it is indicated that the notification by the VSD presented to the Speaker of the Seimas addressed the single issue – granting authorisation to handle or access classified information. The said notification appeared after he himself had applied to the VSD. According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the VSD on its own initiative had not perceived or mentioned anything to the responsible institutions about threats related to his activities as a member of the Seimas; the said notification is of a preventive character, it does not contain information that he posed a threat to national security or the protection of classified information; the notification states that such a hypothetical threat may arise in the future. According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, certain actions that have violated the Constitution or breached the oath must be established during impeachment proceedings; the mere fact of being acquainted and communicating with the individuals specified in the notification by the VSD cannot be regarded as the respective actions; these acquaintances are important only when assessing the possibility of entrusting classified information; the VSD, the NSGK and the Special Investigation Commission did not establish any attempts to recruit him or any facts that he was recruited by foreign services, or that the persons indicated in the notification by the VSD or any foreign services have any leverage to affect him (by blackmail, compromising information, etc.); on the contrary, the said persons did not have any influence on him; therefore, he never posed nor does he pose a threat to national security; he never denied the fact that he was acquainted with Piotr Voyeyko, as he himself informed the VSD about this acquaintance (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission; the letter of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 12 May 2017; the CCc, vol. II, pp. 140–142).

According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, in 2006, when deciding on granting authorisation to handle or access classified information, the officials of the VSD informed him during his questioning about the risk of communicating with the officials of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, V. Volkov and V. Kuznetsov, but not with Yevgeni Kostin or other persons; he was not warned in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legal acts and the VSD did not have any grounds for applying the formal warning procedure against him. In the opinion of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, all this indicates that the charges brought against him over his activities against Lithuania and over a breach of the oath are invalid (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission; the letter of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 12 May 2017; the CCc, vol. II, p. 142).

37. In the written explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 11 August 2017 to the Constitutional Court, it is noted that the statement that he sought to access state secrets is completely ungrounded, because obtaining authorisation to handle or access classified information was not his personal need or interest, but he only carried out an ordinance of the Speaker of the Seimas, which established the duty ex officio to obtain the said authorisation. In addition, he understood the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” as a requirement to point out only the staff of the intelligence or security services or their related institutions of other states existing at present. He did not think that, in answering this question, he should also keep in mind the staff of the USSR KGB (where Piotr Voyeyko used to work).

It is maintained in the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that he informed the staff of the VSD about his acquaintance with Piotr Voyeyko and all the circumstances surrounding it as far back as in the process of his screening for authorisation to handle classified information. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys states that, according to Article 18 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, the screening procedure consists of filling in the Questionnaire and inviting a person to an interview, which is a constituent part of the screening procedure; only if the person fails to appear or the required information is not given, is the inspection procedure terminated and the authorisation is not granted. Thus, according to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, he submitted the data about Piotr Voyeyko as far back as during the screening procedure, i.e. before its end; therefore, there are no grounds for stating that he has concealed this information from the VSD, sought to unlawfully access information constituting a state secret with the aim of using it in violation of the interests of the State of Lithuania or in other illegal ways.

It is noted in the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that, in 2006, he was granted authorisation to handle classified information; it is clear from the content of the interview in that year conducted by the staff of the VSD that he was given no warning; the VSD did not provide information on a specific warning regarding the persons indicated in the notification submitted by the VSD; on the contrary, the VSD, in response to his official inquiry whether the measure – an official warning – had been applied to him, as provided for in the Law on the VSD, replied that no such measure had ever been applied to him.

38. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, when giving explanations at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, disagreed with the charge brought against him and argued that his screening for authorisation to handle classified information did not end with the completion of the Questionnaire; during the questioning, he answered the officials of the VSD all questions that were not presented in the questionnaire, because he did not have the purpose to conceal something. According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire is incorrect and misleading; consequently, he understood it as a requirement to point out only the staff of the intelligence or security services or their related institutions of other states existing at present; therefore, he did not consider it necessary to mention Piotr Voyeyko, with whom he communicated only a few times over sixteen years. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys also confirmed that, when providing the explanations to the officials of the VSD, he did not state that he was unaware of the content of the question of Item 55 of the Questionnaire.

According to the member of the Seimas, he had enough time to complete the Questionnaire.

39. In the case at issue, the following has been established:

39.1. By the Seimas resolution (No XIII-83) of 13 December 2016 on electing Mindaugas Bastys as a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was elected as a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas.

39.2. According to the ordinance (No PP-134 RN) of the Speaker of the Seimas of 13 May 2015 on approving the lists of the subunits of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania that handle or keep information classified as “Top Secret”, “Secret”, “Confidential” and of the positions at the Seimas requiring authorisation to handle or access classified information as well as security clearance, a person in the position of a Deputy Speaker of the Seimas must have authorisation to handle or access information classified “Top Secret” (Item 8.1.1.1 of the conclusion of the NSGK).

39.3. From 14 December 2016 until 5 January 2017, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was filling in and, on 5 January 2017, signed the Questionnaire (it should be noted that the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission indicates the inaccurate date of filling in the Questionnaire – 14 December 2016); the Questionnaire contains the classification “Top Secret” of information to be handled or accessed (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the Questionnaire filled in by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys on 5 January 2017, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 41a–49); replying in Item 55 of the Questionnaire to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard”, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys answered “no”; thus, in the Questionnaire completed by him, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys did not indicate that he knew the persons who were working (or had worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the Questionnaire filled in by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys on 5 January 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 46a).

39.4. Item 3 of Annex 4 – the Rules for Completing the Questionnaire Intended for Persons as Candidates to Obtain Authorisation to Handle and Access Classified Information (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) – of the Description of the Procedure for Screening Persons Who Are Candidates to Obtain Authorisation to Handle or Access Classified Information and Granting the Right to Handle and Access Information Classified “Restricted”, as approved by the resolution (No 1053) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 19 October 2016 on approving the Description of the Procedure for Screening Persons Who Are Candidates to Obtain Authorisation to Handle or Access Classified Information and Granting the Right to Handle and Access Information Classified “Restricted” provides: “If a person completing the questionnaire wants the actual replies to the questions in Chapters VII–XI to be seen only by the officials of the institutions performing his/her screening, he/she shall give negative answers to these questions. In this case, the person completing the questionnaire shall write the actual answers on a separate sheet […] and submit them together with the questionnaire in a sealed envelope to the person responsible for the protection of classified information; the person completing the questionnaire shall write on the sealed envelope his/her name and surname, or, within 20 working days from the date of submitting the questionnaire, shall send it by post to the person responsible for the protection of classified information, or shall submit it in person to the institution performing his/her screening […].” Having answered in the negative the question of Item 55 of the Questionnaire, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys did not perform the possible actions provided for in these Rules (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the meeting of the Special Investigation Commission held on 26 April 2017, the CCc, vol. II, p. 31a).

39.5. On 15 February 2017, while being questioned by the officials of the VSD, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys testified that he knew former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; moreover, he stated that: they became acquainted in the period of 2000–2008; he was definitely aware that Piotr Voyeyko was a former KGB official; Piotr Voyeyko had mentioned that their communication might be unfavourable to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, but he forgot to indicate Piotr Voyeyko while completing the Questionnaire (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the meeting of the Special Investigation Commission held on 26 April 2017 (the questioning of Darius Jauniškis, the Director of the VSD, and Algirdas Bložė, an official of the VSD), the CCc, vol. II, pp. 32a, 32b, 33a; the shorthand record of the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided to the officials of the VSD on 15 February 2017, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 18b, 19b).

Questioned repeatedly on 3 March 2017 by the officials of the VSD, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys stated that, given the fact that his communication with Piotr Voyeyko might be unfavourable and caused inconvenience to him (i.e. to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys), he sought less contact with Piotr Voyeyko (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided to the officials of the VSD on 3 March 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 26a); at the NSGK meeting, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys also confirmed that he was aware that Piotr Voyeyko had been a KGB official (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided to the NSGK on 31 March 2017, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 62b, 68b; the shorthand record of the questioning of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys before the NSGK on 10 April 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 109b).

39.6. The nature of the personal relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with Piotr Voyeyko was defined by the VSD as “rather close communication”; Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys asked Piotr Voyeyko to provide help to Kęstutis Smirnovas Martial Arts School so that the latter would support Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys in his election campaign; Piotr Voyeyko requested assistance from Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys in resolving the problems of UAB Dujotekana and the related enterprise – the thermal power plant in Kaunas (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, p. 59); Mindaugas Bastys has visited Piotr Voyeyko’s home on several occasions, and knows his family members (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided to the officials of the VSD on 3 March 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 25b).

39.7. The information provided by the VSD to the Speaker of the Seimas indicates that Piotr Voyeyko worked in intelligence units of the KGB of the LSSR and the KGB of the USSR, worked in the KGB residence in Finland in “Line X” (scientific and technical intelligence), was the third secretary of the USSR embassy, which served as cover for his job of espionage, and held the position of the Vice President of UAB Dujotekana, an intermediary of the Russian concern Gazprom; Piotr Voyeyko communicates with former members of the KGB of the LSSR and the USSR living in Lithuania and Russia; one of them is Vladimir Yakunin, the head of the Russian state-owned enterprise Russian Railways, a former official of the intelligence and security service of the USSR, with whom Piotr Voyeyko maintains personal ties; at the request of Piotr Voyeyko, Vladimir Yakunin advocated the business interests of UAB Dujotekana in the structures of the Russian government; Piotr Voyeyko maintains relationships with the staff of the Russian and Belarusian embassies in Lithuania, some of whom are associated with the Russian intelligence and security services (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, p. 59).

39.8. Having carried out the security screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the VSD informed the Speaker of the Seimas that, having regard to the information gathered during the security screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys and the assessment of this information, and in accordance with Item 20 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, it objected to granting Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret”, because the relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with the persons indicated in the notification, inter alia, with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko, as well as other circumstances, provided the grounds for doubting the reliability of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, also made him vulnerable, and would endanger the protection of information constituting a state secret if it were entrusted to him (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, pp. 57–63).

39.9. As it is clear from the notification by the VSD, besides Piotr Voyeyko, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys has also maintained relationships, inter alia, with other persons connected with the implementation of the interests of the Russian Federation that are contrary to the interests of the Republic of Lithuania: mention should be made of his personal long-term relationship with Yevgeni Kostin, who represents the interests of the Rosatom Corporation in Lithuania; mention should also be made of his personal relationships with Ernestas Mackevičius, a journalist at the Russian state-owned TV channel RTR, who, when implementing the state information policy of the Russian Federation, spreads Russian propaganda and disinformation (inter alia, about Lithuania), and who has on more than one occasion received state awards of the Russian Federation and its institutions for his activities (inter alia, for informing in a propaganda and disinformation manner the aggression by Russia against Ukraine) (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, pp. 57–63).

39.10. The VSD also notified that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys takes part in the international art festival “Open Sea”, which is held annually in Lithuania and which is regarded as a project of Russian soft power. During this festival, there are also closed events, the participants of which are selected by the organisers of the festival. The main goal of the festival is to get acquainted and communicate with influential Lithuanian politicians, state servants, journalists, and businessmen, as well as to look for people who would be favourable to Russia and support its interests. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys has also participated in these closed events on several occasions (the notification by the VSD of 8 March 2017 to the Speaker of the Seimas, the CCc, vol. I, p. 60; the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the VSD letter (No 19-461) of 10 April 2017 on the declassification of information, the CCc, vol. III, p. 185).

39.11. It was not the first time that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys completed the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information: on 4 September 2006, he filled in and signed the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret”, “Secret”, “Confidential”; this questionnaire contains the classification “Secret” of information to be handled or accessed (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the Questionnaire filled in by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys on 4 September 2006, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 31a–40). While filling in Item 32 of the questionnaire, which requested indicating citizens of foreign states, except for NATO, EU, and Schengen countries, inter alia, those who work in diplomatic (consular) offices, with whom permanent personal relationships are maintained, Mindaugas Bastys answered “I maintain no such relationships” (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the Questionnaire filled in by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys on 4 September 2006, the CCc, vol. III, p. 35a). The Questionnaire filled in by Mindaugas Bastys on 4 September 2006 did not indicate his personal relationships with the Russian diplomats V. Volkov and V. Kuznetsov; Mindaugas Bastys acknowledged these links during operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD and was warned about the ties of V. Volkov and V. Kuznetsov with the Russian intelligence and security services (he received no official warning) (the interview with the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the meeting of the Special Investigation Commission held on 26 April 2017 (the questioning of Darius Jauniškis, the Director of the VSD, and Algirdas Bložė, an official of the VSD), the CCc, vol. II, pp. 29b, 30b, 31b; the VSD service notification of 2 November 2006 on the operational questioning of Mindaugas Bastys No 02-22-11208s/06, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 194–196). Despite the fact that he had not mentioned his personal relationships with the above-mentioned Russian diplomats, Mindaugas Bastys obtained in 2006 authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Secret” (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the meeting of the Special Investigation Commission held on 26 April 2017 (the questioning of Darius Jauniškis, the Director of the VSD), the CCc, vol. II, p. 30b).

39.12. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the witness Algirdas Bložė, an official of the VSD, explained that the VSD, when conducting the security screening of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, relied on information received from previous intelligence investigations, however, no intelligence investigation of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys himself was carried out. The witness noted that questioning is an integral part of the procedure of the security screening of a person; however, a person undergoing this procedure is not always invited to questioning, but only in case of need.

The witness Algirdas Bložė explained that, during the interview with the VSD officials, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys did not say that he had misunderstood the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire. Taking into account the education of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys and the fact that, in 2006, during operational questioning, he received a security briefing, there is no reason to believe that he might have misunderstood the content of the question. While filling in the Questionnaire, he may have been able to forget Piotr Voyeyko, but given that Piotr Voyeyko himself had warned him that their communication might be unfavourable to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, such conduct of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys could be regarded as a deliberate failure to indicate the data, since only after the member of the Seimas had been asked directly whether he knew Piotr Voyeyko, he answered in the affirmative. The witness also explained that the answer to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire during the interview with the VSD officials could be regarded as one provided properly, since it is not possible to assess the ability of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to remember, but the witness drew attention to the fact that it is necessary to assess the whole process of communication with this member of the Seimas: first of all, he was warned that the VSD was interested in persons connected with intelligence and security services. The witness noted that the VSD was satisfied with the answer given by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys during the interview, the VSD did not regard this answer as data concealment and did not rely on it in deciding whether to grant him authorisation to handle or access classified information, since the issue of granting the authorisation was decided according to the existing relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

40. On the basis of the findings in this case, it should be held that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys knew Piotr Voyeyko, was aware of his work in the KGB and, although he had rather closely communicated with him, in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, he did not mention Piotr Voyeyko. Only when questioned by the VSD officials did Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys confess that he knew Piotr Voyeyko and was aware of his work in the KGB.

41. It has been mentioned in this conclusion that, under the Constitution, when taking the oath, an elected member of the Seimas publicly and solemnly assumes an obligation to act in the way that the oath taken obliges and to breach the oath under no circumstances; the oath of a member of the Seimas gives rise to the duty of a member of the Seimas to respect and execute the Constitution and laws.

41.1. In this context, it should be noted that the relations connected with state and official secrets, inter alia, the requirements for classifying, storing, using information comprising a state secret or an official secret, as well as minimum requirements for specific areas of the protection of classified information, are regulated by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets (wording of 19 May 2016) (Article 1).

Under this law, classified information is categorised into top secret, secret, confidential, and restricted information according to its importance, the extent of prejudice likely to be caused to the state, institutions thereof, or persons in the event of a loss or disclosure of this information to unauthorised persons, and the level of protection required to protect such information (Paragraph 1 of Article 5). The classification “Top Secret” is applied to the information comprising a state secret whose loss or unauthorised disclosure may pose a threat to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania, or cause exceptionally grave prejudice to state interests, or pose a hazard to human life (Paragraph 2 of Article 5). The aim of the screening of a person is to determine whether the person applying for the issuance of authorisation to handle or access classified information may be entrusted with the classified information and whether the person subject to screening is reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania (Paragraph 1 of Article 18). A person subject to screening must complete a questionnaire of a set form (Paragraph 2 of Article 18) and mention, among other things, his relationships with persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states (the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire). The institutions performing the screening of a person may invite him/her for an interview (Paragraph 5 of Article 18). In the course of the screening of a person, the methods and means of collection of criminal intelligence information may not be employed, with the exception of questioning and review of the data stored in a criminal intelligence information system (Paragraph 3 of Article 18).

Under Item 11 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, a person is not reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania and authorisation to handle or access classified information is not issued to him/her where the person concealed or, within the last five years, has concealed or submitted to the institutions performing his/her screening false biographical facts or other information about himself/herself, or his/her relations affecting a decision to issue authorisation to handle or access classified information.

41.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, summing up the above-mentioned legal regulation laid down in the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, it should be noted that:

information classified as “Top Secret” means information constituting a state secret that requires the highest level of protection, since its loss or unauthorised disclosure may violate the fundamental constitutional values – may pose a threat to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania, lead to particularly serious consequences for the interests of the state, or endanger human life;

in order to entrust such classified information to a person, it is necessary to conduct his/her security screening and check his/her loyalty to the State of Lithuania; an integral and very important part of the screening is the completion of the Questionnaire of a set form; in the course of the security screening of a person, the institutions performing the screening may invite him/her to an interview, but this part of the screening is not mandatory (the institutions performing the screening may not always have grounds to invite him to an interview, i.e. to have information that would cast doubt on the reliability of the person being screened and his/her loyalty to the State of Lithuania);

having regard to the importance of information classified “Top secret”, a person seeking access to this information must complete the Questionnaire especially responsibly and carefully, and must act in good faith so as not to cast doubt on his/her reliability and loyalty to the State of Lithuania;

a person cannot be considered reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania, i.e. he/she cannot be entrusted with classified information, if he/she acts in bad faith, inter alia, while filling in the questionnaire, among other things, he/she conceals facts of his/her biography or other information about himself/herself, or any information about his/her relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information.

41.3. In the context of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, when assessing the action committed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, he failed to mention his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko – the following significant circumstances and their assessment should be mentioned.

41.3.1. On 15 February 2017, when for the first time giving explanations to the VSD officials, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys stated that he had forgotten to mention Piotr Voyeyko; it was only afterwards (i.e. on 13 May 2017) that the expert Antanas Smetona presented the conclusion that, due to the deficiency in the wording of the question, it could have been misunderstood by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys; in the explanations provided to the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys said that he perceived the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire as a requirement to specify the persons who were working (had worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of the states existing at present, but not of the former USSR.

Assessing the explanation provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that, purportedly, while completing the Questionnaire, he forgot to indicate former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko, it is necessary to draw attention to the fact that, as established in the constitutional justice case at issue, Mindaugas Bastys knew Piotr Voyeyko rather well (they have been acquainted for a long time; according to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, they had been acquainted for sixteen years), has maintained rather close communication with him (they have asked each other for support, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys has visited Piotr Voyeyko’s home on several occasions, and knows his family members), and has been aware of his activities in the KGB (Piotr Voyeyko has told him about this himself and has mentioned that their communication might be unfavourable to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys); Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys himself stated in his explanations that he had understood that communication with Piotr Voyeyko might cause him inconveniences, so he tried to communicate less with him.

Considering the explanation provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that, purportedly, he did not understand the content of the question contained in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, attention should be paid to the fact that he has been elected a member of the Seimas more than once, has higher education, and holds a PhD degree. Given the above, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys must have understood that Item 55 of the Questionnaire refers to persons having ever worked in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of any other states (including the USSR); he must also have been aware of the activities carried out by the repressive internal affairs and security structures of the USSR in Lithuania, as well as of the historical and political circumstances of these activities; therefore, in the course of ascertaining the content of the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire, he could not have had any doubts that the relationships of a person with former officials of USSR security services could be of relevance in screening that person to verify his/her reliability as a candidate to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information.

It is worth noting that, when completing the Questionnaire, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had enough time to go into the detail of the questions set out in the Questionnaire (as established in the constitutional justice case at issue, he was filling in the Questionnaire from 14 December 2016 until 5 January 2017; as mentioned above, according to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys himself, he had enough time to complete the Questionnaire). It should also be noted that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys did not address the officials of the VSD to explain to him the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire; nor did he make use of the additional opportunities, provided for in the Rules, to write down answers to the Questionnaire on a separate sheet and submit them along with the Questionnaire to a person responsible for the protection of classified information in a sealed envelope or, not later than within 20 working days from the date of submitting the questionnaire, to send them by post to the person responsible for the protection of classified information, or to submit them personally to the institution carrying out his screening.

Moreover, neither at the interview in the VSD on 15 February 2017 nor at the interview in the VSD on 3 March 2017 did Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys state that he had failed to understand the content of the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire. As mentioned above, this argument was put forward later. Therefore, it should be seen as a defensive position of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

41.3.2. It should be noted that it was not the first time that Mindaugas Bastys had completed the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, and it was not the first time that he had not indicated all his personal relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information. As mentioned above, the Questionnaire filled in by Mindaugas Bastys on 4 September 2006 did not indicate his personal relationships with the Russian diplomats V. Volkov and V. Kuznetsov.

41.3.3. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys also asserts that he informed the staff of the VSD about his acquaintance with Piotr Voyeyko and all the circumstances surrounding it as far back as in the process of his screening for issuing authorisation to handle classified information. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys states that, according to Article 18 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, the screening procedure consists of filling in the Questionnaire and inviting a person to an interview, which is a constituent part of the screening procedure; only if the person fails to appear or the required information is not given, is the inspection procedure terminated and the authorisation is not granted. According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, he submitted the data about Piotr Voyeyko as far back as during the screening procedure, i.e. before its end; therefore, there are no grounds for stating that he has concealed this information from the VSD, sought to unlawfully access information constituting a state secret with the aim of using it in violation of the interests of the State of Lithuania or in other illegal ways.

In this context, it should be noted that, under Paragraph 5 of Article 18 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, the VSD officials could, but were not obliged to, question Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys; as it has been mentioned in interpreting the legal regulation laid down in the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, in order to entrust classified information to a person, it is necessary to conduct his/her security screening and check his/her loyalty to the State of Lithuania; an integral and very important part of the screening is the completion of the questionnaire of a set form; in the course of the security screening of a person, the institutions performing the screening may also invite him/her to an interview, but this part of the screening is not mandatory (the institutions performing the screening may not always have grounds to invite him/her to an interview, i.e. to have information that would cast doubt on the reliability of the person being screened and his/her loyalty to the State of Lithuania).

Thus, it should also be noted that, if the officials of the VSD had not had information about the relationships between Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys and Piotr Voyeyko and had not asked Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys about these relationships, but had relied solely on the information provided in the Questionnaire by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys himself, these relationships would not have transpired; as it is clear from the material of the constitutional justice case at issue, the said relationships were disclosed not by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, but on the initiative of the officials of the VSD, who had relied on the data available to them rather than the information provided in the Questionnaire by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

41.3.4. The fact that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys knew well Piotr Voyeyko, communicated with him on more than one occasion, was aware of his activities in the KGB, and claimed himself that their communication could be unfavourable to him suggests that Mindaugas Bastys realised that the mention of the relationships between him and former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko would be significant in assessing his suitability for handling classified information, that his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko may cast doubts on his reliability and his loyalty to the State of Lithuania and, given his relationships, give rise to fear that, if he obtained authorisation to handle or access classified information, a threat would arise to the information constituting the state secret and bearing the highest classification level – “Top secret” – that would be entrusted to him.

41.3.5. In view of all the above circumstances, it should be held that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, concealed his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko while seeking in bad faith to obtain authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret”.

41.3.6. As mentioned above, when interpreting the legal regulation laid down in the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, having regard to the importance of information classified “Top secret”, a person seeking access to this information must complete the Questionnaire especially responsibly and carefully, and must act in good faith so as not to cast doubt on his/her reliability and loyalty to the State of Lithuania.

With this in mind, it should be held that, due to the fact that, in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko while seeking in bad faith to obtain authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret”, he violated the requirement laid down in Item 11 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets not to conceal any information about relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information.

Thus, it should also be held that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys did not fulfil the duty, stemming from the oath of a member of the Seimas, to respect and observe the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.

42. When assessing the constitutionality of the action committed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, he failed to mention his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko – it should be noted that, as mentioned before:

the constitutionally established oath of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated in Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated, inter alia, in Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution, give rise to the duties of a member of the Seimas, inter alia, to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania, respect and observe its Constitution and laws, conscientiously perform the duties of a representative of the Nation, and act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania; these constitutional duties of a member of the Seimas imply, inter alia, the duty to protect state secrets that become known to a member of the Seimas in the course of performing his/her duties of a representative of the Nation;

the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to protect state secrets, as well as the requirement, which stems from the oath and constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, that a member of the Seimas must act in good faith, implies the duty of a member of the Seimas to provide, in a fair manner, the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) with all the required information, inter alia, information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets; failure to fulfil this duty can give grounds for doubting the integrity of the member of the Seimas (inter alia, his/her fulfilment of other duties of a representative of the Nation), his/her acting in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, his/her respect for the Constitution and laws, and thus his/her loyalty to the Republic of Lithuania; the unfair provision of information to the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) can also lead to a situation where a person who is not reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania will be able to access a state secret and, thereby, pose a threat to the protection of state secrets and, thus, also to the values consolidated and protected under the Constitution;

not every violation of the Constitution is in itself a gross violation of the Constitution; when deciding whether a member of the Seimas has grossly violated the Constitution by his/her actions, it is necessary to assess in each case the nature of the actions, the content, circumstances, systematicity, repeatedness, and duration of their performance, as well as other significant circumstances; a gross violation of the Constitution is also a breach of the oath.

42.1. It has been held in this conclusion that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, concealed his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko while seeking in bad faith to obtain authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret”.

42.1.1. In view of this fact, it should be held that, by such his action, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys failed to comply with the requirement, stemming from the constitutional duty of a member of the Seimas to protect state secrets and from the oath and constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, that a member of the Seimas must act in good faith. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had also failed in his duty to provide, in a fair manner, the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) with all the required information, inter alia, information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets. Thus, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had failed to fulfil the duties of a member of the Seimas, stemming from the constitutionally established oath of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated in Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and from the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated, inter alia, in Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution, inter alia, to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania, respect and observe its Constitution and laws, conscientiously perform the duties of a representative of the Nation, and act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania.

42.1.2. In this context, it should be noted that, as mentioned above:

under the Constitution, a state secret is such information not to be disclosed and not to be imparted whose disclosure could cause harm to the state as the common good of the entire society and the political organisation of the entire society, i.e. could violate the most important relations regulated, defended, and protected under the Constitution; under the legal regulation laid down in the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets, information classified as “Top Secret” means information constituting a state secret that requires the highest level of protection, since its loss or unauthorised disclosure may violate the fundamental constitutional values – may pose a threat to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania, lead to particularly serious consequences for the interests of the state, or endanger human life;

non-fulfilment of the duty of a member of the Seimas to provide, in a fair manner, the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) with all the required information, inter alia, information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets, can give grounds for doubting the integrity of the member of the Seimas (inter alia, in the fulfilment of his/her other duties of a representative of the Nation), his/her acting in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, his/her respect for the Constitution and laws, and thus his/her loyalty to the Republic of Lithuania; the unfair provision of information to the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information) can also lead to a situation where a person who is not reliable and loyal to the State of Lithuania will be able to access a state secret and, due to this, pose a threat to the protection of state secrets and, thus, also to the values consolidated and protected under the Constitution.

It should also be noted that, as mentioned above, it was not the first time that Mindaugas Bastys had completed the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, and it was not the first time that he had not indicated all his personal relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information. Thus, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had repeatedly failed to fulfil his duty to provide, in a fair manner, all the required information to the state institutions that make a decision regarding the right to handle or access information constituting a state secret (or other classified information), inter alia, information about relationships with other persons with whom communication can affect the protection of state interests, inter alia, the protection of state secrets.

It must also be pointed out that a fair reply to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire should be regarded as particularly important in view of the relationships of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys that were evident from the material of this constitutional justice case and affected the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information. As mentioned above, it is clear from the notification of 8 March 2017 given by the VSD to the Speaker of the Seimas that, besides Piotr Voyeyko, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys also maintains relationships, inter alia, with other persons connected with the implementation of the interests of the Russian Federation that are contrary to the interests of the Republic of Lithuania.

42.1.3. Thus, in the light of the significance of the above-mentioned constitutional institution of state secrets, the nature of the action performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying to the question in Item 55 of the Questionnaire, he concealed his relationships with Piotr Voyeyko while seeking in bad faith to obtain authorisation to handle or access information classified as “Top Secret” – and a potential threat posed by the said action to fundamental and other constitutional values connected with state secrets, the conclusion should be drawn that, by this action, as mentioned above, having failed to fulfil the duties of a member of the Seimas, stemming from the constitutionally established oath of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated in Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and from the constitutional status of a member of the Seimas, as consolidated, inter alia, in Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 59 of the Constitution, inter alia, to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania, respect and observe its Constitution and laws, conscientiously perform the duties of a representative of the Nation, and act in the interests of the Nation and the State of Lithuania, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys grossly violated the Constitution, inter alia, the requirements established in Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 59 thereof and Article 5 of the Law on the Procedure for the Entry into Force of the Constitution, and, at the same time, breached his oath.

43. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the action committed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – in replying to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having violated the requirement laid down in Item 11 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets to provide information about relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information, and acting in bad faith, he sought to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information; upon obtaining this authorisation, due to his relationships, he could pose a threat to the protection of state secrets – is in conflict with the Constitution. By this action, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys has grossly violated the Constitution and breached his oath.

V

The assessment of the constitutionality of the action performed by impeached Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – while questioned before the VSD and before the NSGK, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided different explanations as to whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB

44. In the inquiry set out in its resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas asks the Constitutional Court to present a conclusion, inter alia, whether the action performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – while questioned before the VSD and before the NSGK, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided different explanations as to whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB – is in conflict with the Constitution.

45. The conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission points out, inter alia, that the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys during his questioning before the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 3 April 2017 concerning the fact whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB were different from the explanations he provided during his questioning before the VSD on 15 February 2017 and 3 March 2017. In this context, it should be noted that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys was questioned before the NSGK on 10 April 2017, but not on 3 April 2017.

It is clear from the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys is accused of the fact that, during his questioning before the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 10 April 2017, he changed the explanations given by him to the VSD on 15 February 2017 and 3 March 2017 concerning the fact whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB.

46. In his explanations provided to the Special Investigation Commission, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys pointed out that he had answered in detail all questions he was asked by the VSD and NSGK, and had provided all the information that he could recall (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the letter of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 12 May 2017, the CCc, vol. II, p. 141).

47. It was noted in the 11 August 2017 written explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the Constitutional Court that the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission, while paying attention to instances of insignificant non-compliance of his testimony with events that happened long ago, formulates allegations that he acted in bad faith despite the fact that he has provided to the Special Investigation Commission detailed written explanations on all investigated issues on whose basis the impeachment proceedings have been started.

48. When giving his explanations at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set out in his written explanations to the Constitutional Court and argued that the reason of certain inaccuracies in his explanations could be his fatigue.

49. The advocates Raimundas Jurka and Egidijus Losis – the representatives of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned – explained at the hearing of the Constitutional Court that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, when not answering some of the questions, used his right not to testify.

50. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 13 October 2011) of Article 228 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the right to submit to the Seimas a proposal to institute impeachment proceedings is vested in a group of members of the Seimas consisting of at least one-fourth of the members of the Seimas, and, in the case referred to in Paragraph 3 of Article 78 of this Statute, this right is also vested in the Commission for Ethics and Procedures.

Thus, the entities, provided for in Paragraph 1 (wording of 13 October 2011) of Article 228 of the Statute of the Seimas, that have the right to submit to the Seimas a proposal to institute impeachment proceedings are a group of members of the Seimas consisting of at least one-fourth of the members of the Seimas and the Commission for Ethics and Procedures. Only these entities have such a right; the said right is not conferred on any other entities.

Under Paragraph 2 of Article 231 (wording of 13 October 2011) of the Statute of the Seimas, a special investigation commission is set up to investigate the validity of the submitted proposals to institute impeachment proceedings and to prepare a conclusion concerning the grounds for instituting impeachment proceedings. According to Paragraph 3 of Article 233 of the Statute of the Seimas, during meetings of the Special Investigation Commission, explanations and arguments of the person against whom impeachment proceedings have been instituted are heard, witnesses are questioned, other evidence is collected, examined, and evaluated, when necessary, experts and specialists are invited, and, under Article 236 thereof, upon the conclusion of the investigation, the special investigation commission draws up its conclusion containing the substance of the proposals to institute impeachment proceedings, the factual circumstances of the specific actions, explanations of the person against whom impeachment proceedings have been instituted, the evidence and reasoning on which the conclusion is based (Paragraph 1); if the proposals to institute impeachment proceedings are recognised as unjustified, it is stated that there are no grounds to institute impeachment proceedings in the Seimas (Paragraph 2); if the proposals to institute impeachment proceedings are recognised as justified, it is stated that there are grounds to institute impeachment proceedings in the Seimas (Paragraph 3).

Thus, under this legal regulation laid down in the Statute of the Seimas, a special investigation commission has the power to investigate the reasonableness of a proposal to institute impeachment proceedings only if it is submitted by entities holding the right of impeachment initiative, also the power to prepare, following the said investigation, a conclusion regarding the grounds for instituting impeachment proceedings.

51. In the constitutional justice case at issue, it has been mentioned that the requirement of the due legal process in parliamentary procedure before instituting impeachment (inter alia, in the course of investigation by a commission set up by the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas into the validity of charges brought by members of the Seimas) implies, under the Constitution, such a process during which a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted could effectively exercise his/her rights, inter alia, be aware of the charges brought against him/her, provide his/her explanations, and respond to the arguments on which the charges against him/her are based; therefore, this parliamentary procedure must, inter alia, be such that a commission set up by the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas would investigate the validity of charges brought by the members of the Seimas (or the structural subunit of the Seimas) initiating impeachment, rather than would formulate charges that are in principle new and have not been brought by the entities initiating impeachment, in particular on the grounds of the explanations provided to the said commission of the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas by the member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted; otherwise, the preconditions would be created for deterring a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted from exercising the above-mentioned rights of due process.

52. In the light of this, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court may investigate in the case at issue only the constitutionality of the actions of a member of the Seimas, specified in the conclusion of the Seimas Special Investigation Commission, regarding which the proposals to begin impeachment proceedings were submitted by the group of the members of the Seimas that had initiated impeachment.

53. As mentioned before, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys is accused of the fact that, during his questioning before the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 10 April 2017, he changed the explanations given by him to the VSD on 15 February 2017 and 3 March 2017 concerning the fact whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work in the KGB.

54. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, as regards this action pointed out in the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission, the group of members of the Seimas that initiated the impeachment did not bring any charges of committing the said action. On the grounds of the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the Special Investigation Commission formulated charges that were in principle new, and the said charges were not those presented by the group of members of the Seimas that had initiated the impeachment. The group of members of the Seimas that had initiated the impeachment were not able to bring against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys such charges at all, since the said questioning took place after 14 March 2017, i.e. after the said group of members of the Seimas had submitted to the Seimas their proposal to institute the impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the consideration of this issue is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

55. Under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court refuses to examine an inquiry concerning giving a conclusion in the cases where the consideration of a concrete issue does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; according to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the grounds for the refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the consideration of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted.

56. Conforming to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court has dismissed the part of the case regarding the inquiry, set out in the Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017 on beginning an impeachment against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas, and applying to the Constitutional Court, requesting a conclusion whether the concrete action of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – while questioned before the NSGK, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys provided explanations as to whether he knew about Piotr Voyeyko’s work that differed from those he provided to the VSD – is in conflict with the Constitution.

VI

The assessment of the constitutionality of the actions performed by impeached Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, he organised the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania while seeking to ensure political support for the plans of this corporation in Lithuania

57. In the inquiry set out in its resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas requests, inter alia, a conclusion whether the actions performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, he organised the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania while seeking to ensure political support for the plans of this corporation in Lithuania – are in conflict with the Constitution.

58. The conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission points out, inter alia, that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys organised meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania (after the failure to coordinate a meeting with the then Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in December 2012 and on 13 February 2013, he coordinated a meeting with Vydas Gedvilas, the then Speaker of the Seimas on 13 February 2013) and participated in the said meetings (on 13 February 2013); in this way, he was seeking to ensure political support for the plans of the Rosatom Corporation in Lithuania and was helping the persons representing the Rosatom Corporation to protect and advance Rosatom’s interests, which were directed against the interests of the Republic of Lithuania (which had been approved by the Seimas in the strategic documents of the Republic of Lithuania) to strengthen the energy independence of the state, and, by his actions, posed a threat to national security, and discredited not only his own authority as a member of the Seimas, but also the authority of the Seimas as the legislature of the Republic of Lithuania.

59. The explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the Special Investigation Commission indicate that too much emphasis is placed on the meeting that took place at his request with the then Speaker of the Seimas Vydas Gedvilas in 2013. There were no specific requests by the Rosatom Corporation for his acting as a member of the Seimas in one way or another, or exerting any influence. No information is available on the fact that, during the meeting, he, Yevgeni Kostin, or Alexander Merten carried out actions that posed a threat to national security, affected the Speaker of the Seimas, made any requests, etc. The refusal by the Office of the Prosecutor General to initiate a pretrial investigation concerning Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys shows that there are no indications that he had acted against the Republic of Lithuania. Neither the NSGK nor the Special Investigation Commission conducted a detailed investigation into his activity as a member of the Seimas, i.e. they neither investigated nor evaluated his other actions, such as the active position of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania and that of his own on the implementation of the power interconnection with Sweden (the Government led by Algirdas Butkevičius implemented this project), which deny any preconditions for favouring Russian interests (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission; the letter of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 12 May 2017; the CCc, vol. II, pp. 141–142).

The aim of the meeting with the Speaker of the Seimas was to improve relations on the matter of the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, to talk together about the construction of the Kaliningrad and Astravyets nuclear power plants, the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, and the possibilities of using the Kruonis Pumped Storage Power Plant (Kruonio hidroakumuliacinė elektrinė, hereinafter referred to as the Kruonis PSPP). At the meeting, it was acknowledged that the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP does not fall under the competence of the Seimas, but, rather, of the Government and the Ministry of Energy (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the officials of the VSD on 15 February 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 11b).

In the explanations to the NSGK, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys asserted that he had been most interested in the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, and this was the main objective of the meeting with the then Speaker of the Seimas (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the NSGK on 31 March 2017, vol. III, pp. 64b–66a).

60. In the 11 August 2017 written explanations to the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys noted that the fact of the meeting with the then Speaker of the Seimas Vydas Gedvilas that took place in 2013 is incorrectly assessed as a weakening of Lithuania’s independence, a violation of the obligation to serve honestly to the Homeland, and a gross violation of the Constitution. During the meeting they spoke about general energy topics. The Special Investigation Commission did not assess the fact that neither he nor Yevgeni Kostin nor Alexander Merten carried out actions threatening the security of the state, or influenced the Speaker of the Seimas, or made any requests, etc. Nor did it take into account the fact that the meeting was held in the building of the Seimas, but not in secret by using some conspiracy or similar means. As regards threats to national security, Mindaugas Bastys noted that it should be ascertained that he was able to carry out specific actions that posed a threat, but no such data exist nor can they exist.

61. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, when giving explanations at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, did not deny the fact that he had arranged the meetings with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania and argued that, at the meeting with Vydas Gedvilas, the issue of the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP and other issues related to energy were discussed.

62. At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, the advocates Raimundas Jurka and Egidijus Losis – the representatives of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – explained that it was not Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, but, rather, the Speaker of the Seimas who was responsible for the publicity of the organisation of the meeting.

63. It has been established in this case that, at the end of 2012 and at the beginning of 2013, attempts were made to arrange through Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys a meeting between Alexander Merten, working for the company Rusatom Overseas (a subsidiary of the Rosatom Corporation) as its Regional Vice President (Eastern Europe), with the then Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the VSD letter (No 19-461) of 10 April 2017 on the declassification of information, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 180–181). After Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys had failed, on 13 February 2013, to coordinate a meeting of Alexander Merten with Algirdas Butkevičius (the latter refused to meet) (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the questioning of Algirdas Butkevičius before the NSGK on 3 April 2017, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 79a, 85b; the VSD letter (No 19-461) of 10 April 2017 on the declassification of information, the CCc, vol. III, p. 181), the meeting of Alexander Merten with the then Speaker of the Seimas Vydas Gedvilas was organised on the same day in the Seimas (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the VSD letter (No 19-461) of 10 April 2017 on the declassification of information, the CCc, vol. III, p. 185). During the meeting with the Speaker of the Seimas Vydas Gedvilas, various proposals of the Rosatom Corporation were presented (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the VSD letter (No 19-461) of 10 April 2017 on the declassification of information, the CCc, vol. III, p. 181). According to Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, at the meeting, among other things, the issue of the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP was discussed (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the shorthand record of the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the officials of the VSD on 15 February 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 11b; the shorthand record of the questioning of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys before the NSGK on 31 March 2017, the CCc, vol. III, p. 65a; the shorthand record of the questioning of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys before the NSGK on 10 April 2017, the CCc, vol. III, pp. 97a–97b).

64. It should be noted that the above actions, whose assessment in terms of compliance with the Constitution is requested by the Seimas, were carried out not during the current term of the Seimas, but during the 2012–2016 term of the Seimas. The powers of the members of the Seimas of the 2012–2016 term of office ceased when the newly elected Seimas convened for its first sitting on 14 November 2016. Therefore, the powers and the validity of the oath taken by Mindaugas Bastys as a member of the Seimas of the 2012–2016 term of office have expired.

As mentioned above, under the Constitution, inter alia, Article 74 thereof, it is impossible to apply constitutional liability to a member of the Seimas through impeachment proceedings for his/her actions that may have grossly violated the Constitution and breached his/her oath if these actions were committed during a previous term of office of the member of the Seimas (during the exercise of powers held previously); accordingly, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has no powers to assess, in terms of compliance with the Constitution, such actions of a member of the Seimas that were committed during his/her previous term of office as a member of the Seimas (during the exercise of powers held previously), i.e. at the time before the member of the Seimas took his/her currently binding oath of a member of the Seimas.

In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the consideration of this issue is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

65. Under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court refuses to examine an inquiry concerning giving a conclusion in the cases where the consideration of a concrete issue does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; according to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the grounds for the refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the consideration of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted.

66. Conforming to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court has dismissed the part of the case regarding the inquiry, set out in the Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017 on beginning an impeachment against Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas, and applying to the Constitutional Court, requesting a conclusion whether the actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, he organised the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation with the heads of state authorities of the State of Lithuania while seeking to ensure political support for the plans of this corporation in Lithuania are in conflict with the Constitution.

VII

The assessment of the constitutionality of the actions performed by impeached Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys – while providing explanations to the officials of the VSD and to the NSGK, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, as well as their significance and nature, and avoided answering questions he was asked in the course of the investigation, i.e. he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania; he sought to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant; he denied he had been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius because of the organisation of a meeting with representatives of the Rosatom Corporation; he denied he had met with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD; and provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin

67. In the inquiry set out in its resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, the Seimas asks the Constitutional Court to present a conclusion, inter alia, on the constitutionality of these actions performed by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys: while providing explanations to the officials of the VSD and to the Committee on National Security and Defence, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, as well as their significance and nature, and avoided answering questions he was asked in the course of the investigation, i.e. he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania; he sought to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant; he denied he had been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius because of the organisation of a meeting with representatives of the Rosatom Corporation; he denied he had met with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD; and provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin.

68. The conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission points out, inter alia, that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, their significance and nature, avoided answering the questions posed to him during the investigation, namely:

in his explanations given to the officials of the VSD on 15 February 2017 and at the meetings of the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 10 April 2017, he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania and tried to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant;

at the meeting of the NSGK of 10 April 2017, he denied having been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius, denied his meeting with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD;

at the meeting of the NSGK of 31 March 2017, he provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin.

69. In his explanations provided to the Special Investigation Commission, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys pointed out that he had answered in detail all questions he was asked by the VSD and NSGK, and had provided all the information that he could recall (the materials of the Special Investigation Commission, the letter of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys of 12 May 2017, the CCc, vol. II, p. 141).

70. It was noted in the 11 August 2017 written explanations of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys to the Constitutional Court that the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission, while paying attention to instances of insignificant non-compliance of his testimony with events that happened long ago, formulates allegations that he acted in bad faith despite the fact that he has provided to the Special Investigation Commission detailed written explanations on all investigated issues on whose basis the impeachment proceedings have been started.

71. When giving his explanations at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned, did not deny the fact that he had been questioned by the officials of the VSD and had testified before the NSGK, and argued that he had answered all the questions he could answer, while the reason of certain inaccuracies in his explanations could be his fatigue.

72. The advocates Raimundas Jurka and Egidijus Losis – the representatives of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the party concerned – explained at the hearing of the Constitutional Court that Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, when not answering some of the questions, used his right not to testify.

73. It has been mentioned that the requirement of the due legal process in parliamentary procedure before instituting impeachment (inter alia, in the course of investigation by a commission set up by the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas into the validity of charges brought by members of the Seimas) implies, under the Constitution, such a process during which a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted could effectively exercise his/her rights, inter alia, be aware of the charges brought against him/her, provide his/her explanations, and respond to the arguments on which the charges against him/her are based; therefore, this parliamentary procedure must, inter alia, be such that a commission set up by the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas would investigate the validity of charges brought by the members of the Seimas (or the structural subunit of the Seimas) initiating impeachment, rather than would formulate charges that are in principle new and have not been brought by the entities initiating impeachment, in particular on the grounds of the explanations provided to the said commission of the Seimas or another structural subunit of the Seimas by the member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted; otherwise, the preconditions would be created for deterring a member of the Seimas or state official against whom impeachment may be instituted from exercising the above-mentioned rights of due process.

It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court may investigate in the case at issue only the constitutionality of the actions of a member of the Seimas, specified in the conclusion of the Seimas Special Investigation Commission, regarding which the proposals to begin impeachment proceedings were submitted by the group of the members of the Seimas that had initiated impeachment.

As mentioned above, under the legal regulation laid down in the Statute of the Seimas, a special investigation commission has the power to investigate the reasonableness of a proposal to institute impeachment proceedings only if it is submitted by entities holding the right of impeachment initiative, also the power to prepare, following the said investigation, a conclusion regarding the grounds for instituting impeachment proceedings.

74. As mentioned before, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys is charged with the fact that, while providing explanations to the officials of the VSD and to the NSGK, he tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, as well as their significance and nature, and avoided answering questions he was asked in the course of the investigation.

75. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that the group of members of the Seimas that initiated the impeachment did not present any proposals to begin impeachment proceedings as regards these actions pointed out in the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission. On the grounds of the explanations provided by Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys, the Special Investigation Commission formulated charges that were in principle new, and the said charges were not those presented by the group of members of the Seimas that had initiated the impeachment. In its proposals to begin impeachment proceedings, the group of members of the Seimas that initiated the impeachment did not charge Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys with the fact that he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania and tried to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant. Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys is also charged with the fact that, in his explanations given at the meetings of the NSGK on 31 March 2017 and 10 April 2017, he denied having been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius, denied his meeting with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD, as well as provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin; however, the group of members of the Seimas that initiated the impeachment could not bring against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys any such charges at all, since the said questioning took place after 14 March 2017, i.e. after the said group of members of the Seimas had submitted to the Seimas their proposal to institute the impeachment proceedings against Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys.

In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the consideration of this issue is not within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

76. Under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court refuses to examine an inquiry concerning giving a conclusion in the cases where the consideration of a concrete issue does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; according to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the grounds for the refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the consideration of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted.

77. Conforming to Paragraph 3 of Article 69 and Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 80 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court has dismissed the part of the case regarding the inquiry, set out in the Seimas resolution (No XIII-412) of 6 June 2017, requesting a conclusion whether the actions of Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys while providing explanations to the officials of the VSD and to the Committee on National Security and Defence, Seimas member Mindaugas Bastys tried to conceal his permanent and systematic relationships, as well as their significance and nature, and avoided answering questions he was asked in the course of the investigation, i.e. he sought to deny or diminish his role in organising the meetings of representatives of the Rosatom Corporation with the highest officials of the Republic of Lithuania; he sought to create the impression that he had taken care of the work related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP, rather than the implementation of the project of the Baltic (Baltiyskaya) nuclear power plant; he denied he had been given a warning by Algirdas Butkevičius because of the organisation of a meeting with representatives of the Rosatom Corporation; he denied he had met with the officials of the VSD in 2006 and the details of the operational questioning conducted by the officials of the VSD; and provided different explanations regarding the nature, frequency, and time of his contact with Yevgeni Kostin – are in conflict with the Constitution.

Conforming to Item 4 of Paragraph 3 of Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Item 4 of Article 73 and Article 83 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

conclusion:

The action committed by Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania – in replying to the question “Do you know (did you know) any persons who are working (worked) in the intelligence or security services or related institutions of other states? If so, provide information in this regard” of Item 55 of the Questionnaire for persons who are candidates to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information, Mindaugas Bastys concealed his relationships with former KGB official Piotr Voyeyko; in this way, having violated the requirement laid down in Item 11 of Paragraph 2 of Article 17 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Secrets and Official Secrets to provide information about relationships affecting the decision to grant authorisation to handle or access classified information, and acting in bad faith, he sought to obtain authorisation to handle or access classified information; upon obtaining this authorisation, due to his relationships, he could pose a threat to the protection of state secrets – is in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. By this action, Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, has grossly violated the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and breached his oath.

This conclusion of the Constitutional Court is final and not subject to appeal.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:    Elvyra Baltutytė
                                                                         Gintaras Goda
                                                                         Vytautas Greičius
                                                                         Danutė Jočienė
                                                                         Gediminas Mesonis
                                                                         Vytas Milius
                                                                         Daiva Petrylaitė
                                                                         Janina Stripeikienė
                                                                         Dainius Žalimas