18 juin 2011

Financial supporter of impeached Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas and the key person of the impeachment, lost his case

Another interesting point was made in the impeachment of Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas story by the Strasbourg Court in case Borisov v Lithuania, 9958/04. Mr. Jurij Borisov, owner of Avia Baltika company, made a contribution of € 349 000 to the Paksas election campaign, and the latter was elected President of Lithuania on 05/01/2003.

Due to business interests, Mr Borisov took the Russian citizenship, which meant annulment of his Lithuanian citizenship. However he also had business interests in Lithuania. Then President Paksas granted him Lithuanian citizenship for “merits to Lithuania” (ECtHR tries not to mention the merits notion in the judgment), since Mr Borisov had the Medal of Darius & Girenas for merits to Lithuania, for the efforts to glorify the name of Lithuania in the World and assisting the State in its integration into the World Community of States. Other “merits” were the fact of spending € 1 740 000 for charity, paying € 5 million of taxes, creating 200 jobs directly, and 600 indirectly.

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court declared the grant of citizenship for merits to Lithuania unconstitutional. As a result, President Paksas was impeached on 06/04/2004. A lifelong prohibition to stand for presidential, parliamentary, and local elections, as well as a lifelong prohibition to become Prime Minister (Paksas is a twice former Prime Minister) or a minister was imposed on the impeached President of the Republic.

Mr Borisov was fined about € 2 900 for threatening the President. He would disclose certain information about the President, if the President did not appoint him his voluntary adviser (contrary to what the ECtHR writes in § 30, there is a difference between “voluntary adviser” and “adviser”). This provoked the desire of the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior to deport Mr Borisov from Lithuania due to “threat to national security”. On 28/06/2006 the President of the Lithuanian Parliament, Mr Viktoras Muntianas, addressed the General Assembly of Judges and stated that it would be “bad” if the Lithuanian Courts decided not to deport Mr Borisov from Lithuania.

The proceedings for deportation of Mr Borisov lasted for 6 years and 7 months until 13/08/2010 when he got a permanent residence permit, and he tried to argue that this was interference with his normal family life, since his parents, wife and children were Lithuanian citizens and lived in Lithuania (Article 8 of the Convention). However the ECtHR refused to consider the compatibility of the very change of style of family life as an interference, and argued that from 13/08/2010 there was no longer any justification for examining the merits of the case (§ 106).

The ECtHR expressed a “deep concern that the decision making in [Borisov] case was politicised”, pointed that “neither can the Court fail to observe that the Supreme Administrative Court chose to remit the case for fresh examination two times on somewhat contrived izobret grounds, thus continuing to keep [Borisov] and his family in a state of uncertainty” (§ 112). The 7 judges “regretted” that Borisov proceedings were that long (§ 112). However Borisov did not get any practical advantage from this moral consideration.

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