Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau has concluded its investigation regarding Mantas Danielius, a Vilnius-based lawyer accused of espionage on behalf of the Belarusian regime. The Vilnius District Prosecutor’s Office supervised the investigation. Danielius has now been granted access to the case materials for his review. The prosecution is in the process of preparing an indictment as the case proceeds to court.
Danielius is suspected of abducting, purchasing, or otherwise procuring and transmitting information that constitutes a state secret of Lithuania or other data of interest to a foreign intelligence agency while executing assignments for another state. He could face imprisonment ranging from 6 to 15 years for these actions.
In early February 2023, Danielius was placed under enhanced surveillance – his documents were confiscated, and he was required to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. However, at the end of February, he was arrested again because he failed to comply with the conditions of the more lenient pretrial release and the obligation not to communicate or seek contact with specific individuals.
After the violation of the preventive measure, a pretrial investigation was initiated regarding the potential influence on witnesses, with two episodes identified. These actions are being investigated as part of the espionage case.
It should be recalled, at the beginning of 2022, a Lithuanian lawyer named Mantas Danielius emerged within the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania. Disguised as offering volunteer legal assistance, Danielius attempted to get involved in the activities of various organizations in Lithuania associated with providing support to Belarusians fleeing the Lukashenko regime.
Mantas Danielius, well-versed in Lithuanian law, seemed to be just what the Belarusian diaspora needed. His legal expertise was particularly helpful in matters like the proper registration of non-governmental organizations, сorrect handling of humanitarian aid, and various other issues. Therefore, initially, his peculiar behavior did not raise significant suspicions.
In particular, “Our House” has brought attention to this issue. Undoubtedly, there are mechanisms for checking Belarusian citizens on potential ties to intelligence services, but for Belarusian organizations it is much more challenging to do so when it comes to Lithuanian citizens. “However, over time, serious suspicions arose that the information Danielius could obtain from Belarusian diaspora organizations was reaching the Belarusian KGB,” noted Olga Karach, the leader of “Our House”.