1. Is your country a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention?
2. Is your country a member of any other bilateral or multilateral conventions on anti-corruption?
Yes. Lithuania is a member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. In addition, Lithuania is a member of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). GRECO's objective is to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with the Council of Europe's anti-corruption standards through mutual evaluation and peer pressure. Lastly, Lithuania is also a member of the Convention drawn up based on Article K.3 (2) (c) of the Treaty of European Union on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the European Union.
3. Are there local anti-corruption laws in your country focusing on corporations, not individuals? If yes, what sanctions can be imposed?
Yes. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania establishes criminal liability for individuals and corporations that commit a crime or a criminal offense against civil service public interest, i.e., bribery, graft, abuse of office, etc. The sanctions applicable to the individuals for such crimes and/or criminal offenses vary from a financial penalty to up to 8 years of deprivation of liberty. The sanctions applicable to the companies for any crime and/or criminal offense are a financial penalty, restriction of activity, or liquidation of the company. Only one sanction may apply to the company per criminal act.
4. Can companies be held liable for acts of corruption under civil or administrative law?
Liability for corruption is regulated strictly by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania. Administrative law does not regulate any administrative offenses related to corruption. Companies and individuals may be held liable under civil law, i.e., compensation of damages.
5. Is corruption of individuals punishable?
6. Are facilitation payments allowed?
7. Is there a legal regulation/maximum limit for accepting or giving gifts, invitations, etc.?
Yes. The Law on Reconciliation of Public and Private Interests of the Republic of Lithuania provides a list of exceptions for gifting to public authorities. Article 13 provides that a public authority shall not accept gifts or services if they are related to their official duties. There are exceptions, such as gifts or services that do not exceed the value of EUR 150 and are received under the international protocol or traditions, which are usually related to the official duties of the receiver. In addition, gifts intended for representation with the state, institutions, or other symbols and those used for exercising official duties are allowed.
8. Are bribes to foreign government officials prohibited?
9. Does your legislation have any extraterritorial reach?
Yes. The Code of Criminal Proceedings of the Republic of Lithuania provides that no matter where the criminal act had been committed, the criminal procedure is conducted according to the Lithuanian regulation. Therefore, if at least a part of the criminal act has been conducted in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian authorities have the right to enact an internal investigation. Additionally, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania provides a fixed list of exceptions to the aforementioned rule. That is, persons will be held liable under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, regardless of their nationality and place of residence, as well as where the person had committed the criminal act. They will also be held liable whether the act committed is punishable under the laws of the place where it was committed or based on international treaties. The Lithuanian jurisdiction would punish bribery, influence peddling, and graft in such cases.
10. Is it possible to confiscate assets from the company?
Yes, according to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania.
11. Does your legislation rely on deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements or any other type of non-trial resolution for corruption?
No. The prosecution proceedings may only be discontinued due to insignificance or when no sufficient evidence of corruption (or other crime and/or criminal offense) is established. However, the Code of Criminal Proceedings of the Republic of Lithuania does foresee a special regulation for individuals that cannot be prosecuted without prior approval of the competent body (authority or institution), i.e., politicians, diplomats, etc.
When a person voluntarily reports a given bribe to a law enforcement authority, the prosecutors assess whether it was done in the “shortest possible time” (this is not defined by Lituanian law). A person cannot be exempt from a criminal liability if he reports about a given bribe after the law enforcement authorities have served him with a notice of suspicion. Thus, in order to be exempt from a criminal liability, voluntary reporting of a given bribe is required before the investigators or prosecutors serve the notice of suspicion.
The law does not set a specific deadline when a person must be served with a notice of suspicion. The moment of delivery of the notice is determined by the sufficiency and reliability of the data available to the investigators. In some cases the notice of suspicion is served at the beginning of the pre-trial investigation, however, in other cases it may take several years for the investigators to gather the necessary data to deem someone a suspect in committing a criminal act.
12. Can a company be liable for the acts of its intermediaries or third parties?
Yes. The intermediary or a third party must act as an agent of the company for it to be held liable for the acts of said individual.
13. Can a parent company be liable for the acts of its subsidiaries?
Yes. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania provides that the company may be held liable for the criminal acts of its subsidiaries and/or their employees/representatives if said persons had committed the criminal act in the interests and/or benefits of the parent company.
14. Are there any affirmative defenses or exceptions for those accused of corruption acts?
15. Does your jurisdiction require domestic entities to implement anti-corruption internal programs?
16. Is having a compliance program a defense or mitigating factor, while reviewing sanctions?
17. Could the cooperation with the authorities or an internal investigation be a defense or mitigating factor?
Generally, cooperation with the authorities or an internal investigation is only a factor in mitigating liability. It could be considered a defense strategy in cases where cooperating with authorities or an internal investigation would significantly help mitigate liability. (See response to question 13 above.) Additionally, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania provides that:
- Persons that are suspected of having participated in the commission of a criminal act by an organized group or criminal association or belonging to a criminal association might be exempt from criminal liability if they admitted to having participated in committing such a criminal act and actively helped the authorities to uncover criminal acts committed by the organized group or the criminal association.
- Persons that had committed a criminal misdemeanor, a negligent crime, or a minor or aggravated crime may be released from criminal liability by the court if: 1) they were recognized as a whistle-blower; 2) they admitted to having committed a criminal act; 3) they actively helped uncover a criminal act committed by another person; 4) the criminal act they helped to uncover is by its nature more dangerous than the one they had committed themselves.
18. Is there any publicly available guideline issued by the authorities in charge of enforcing anti-corruption laws? For example, manuals on compliance programs, leniency agreements, etc. If so, please provide the link.
Yes. The Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania issued:
- An interactive article on Corruption Prevention (https://www.stt.lt/en/corruption-prevention/4980). It should be noted that most of the information provided in the interactive article is directly taken from the Law on the Prevention of Corruption of the Republic of Lithuania.
- A detailed anti-corruption manual for businesses (https://www.stt.lt/data/public/uploads/2019/11/8_3606_stt_antikorupcinis_vadovas_lt_210x295_web_2v.pdf).
Additionally, by December 28, 2021, decree No. 2-283 of the director of the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania set out specific criteria for the guidelines, internal manuals, and compliance programs for the institutions, which are under obligation to comply with anti-corruption regulation. The decree can be accessed only in Lithuanian: https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/b9fa6d62681d11ecb2fe9975f8a9e52e?jfwid=mmceooj7p
Darius Raulušaitis, email@example.com