Nusikaltimas, kaip apkaltos pagrindas: kai kurie teoriniai ir praktiniai aspektai
Under Article 74 of the Constitution, 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 is performed through impeachment proceedings, which is established by the Statute of the Seimas. In its ruling of 25 May 2004, the Constitutional Court stated that the institution of impeachment is a method of public democratic control over the activity of the President of the Republic and the other state officials listed in Article 74 of the Constitution and a method of holding such officials liable, where the said method includes, inter alia, the possibility of removing them from office if they fail to fulfil their obligation to follow only the Constitution and law, if they place their personal or group interests above the interests of society, or when they bring discredit on state power by their actions. One of the grounds of impeachment is being “found to have committed a crime”. The persons referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution may be removed from office not only for the commission of a crime by which the Constitution was grossly violated and the oath was breached, but also for the commission of any other crime. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Constitution, only a court may hold that a person has committed a crime. However, in the course of carrying out impeachment proceedings, the Seimas itself (in the absence of a court judgment) may hold that the persons referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution have committed a crime. If they have committed a crime while holding the office specified in Article 74 of the Constitution, the circumstance that the crime has been committed may be established by the Seimas itself only if the fact of the commission of the crime (as well as the official who committed it) is obvious, and also when the President of the Republic is being impeached. In the event that a crime had been committed by 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, or a member of the Seimas before they took office, the fact of committing a crime may not be considered obvious; in such cases, a court must determine the circumstances relevant to the application of impeachment, i.e. the fact that a crime was committed (together with the official who committed it). The circumstance that a person committed a crime before taking the office of the President of the Republic can only be established by the Seimas and only when the crime is obvious. The statement of the Seimas that a person referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution has committed a crime or the statement of the Constitutional Court that such a person has committed actions for which liability is provided for in the Criminal Code is not the same as a convicting judgment of a court rendered in a criminal case. Impeachment does not mean the application of criminal liability even if a crime constitutes grounds for impeachment. If a person referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution has been removed from office through impeachment proceedings, or his/her mandate of a member of the Seimas has been revoked for a gross violation of the Constitution, a breach of the oath, or for such a crime by which the Constitution was grossly violated and the oath was breached, he/ she may never in the future hold such office whose beginning is linked with taking the oath provided for in the Constitution.
- Straipsniai / Articles