Leonidas Donskis (ALDE ). - Mr President, I expressed strong disagreement with my group and I voted against the position of my group concerning the assessment of what happened to our colleague Viktor Uspaskich. I am afraid that the audiatur et altera pars principle has been severely violated and that only one side has been listened to.
The criticism of Lithuania as a country where politically motivated trials are allegedly pursued is unfair, one-sided and misguided. Lithuania is a democracy. The rule of law does exist in Lithuania. To imply that things are otherwise and that Lithuania is engaged in something similar to the Timoshenko case in Ukraine would be absurd. I see no reason why a politician should avoid a trial defending his or her honour.
I find it difficult to believe that we could send a message to my country that the separation of powers does not exist in Lithuania. To treat Lithuania like Belarus would be simply preposterous and would deal a blow to the reputation of the European Parliament in my country.