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Lithuania detains 26, including judges, in corruption probe

Posted at 11:05 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 11:05:08-05

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A Lithuanian official says 26 people, including eight judges in different courts, have been detained in a corruption probe, suspected of "large-scale bribery, trading in influence and abuse of powers in the court system."

Zydrunas Bartkus, head of Lithuania's anti-corruption agency, on Wednesday named the suspects, who included justices with Lithuania's Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and five lawyers, among others.

One case was about a high-profile corruption scandal involving a southern Lithuania estate that a prosecutor claimed was illegally built in a pristine area. A court eventually rejected that claim, citing a 2015 change in government policy. After that, Lithuania's anti-corruption agency opened an investigation into the court system.