By applying restitution, the damage caused by fraudsters is awarded from the state

In Vilnius District Court the case won where by applying restitution the developers of the Real Estate, who were tricked by the fraudsters and therefore lost their investments, had the property damage of more than 300.000 euro awarded from the state.

According to the partner of the Professional Association of Lawyers Kručkauskas, Blaškevičius, Gruodis and Partners ConsulTax, Attorney Gediminas Blaškevičius, it was the first time in the court practice when the lawyers succeeded to prove that the full burden to restore justice and return the lost property shall be carried out not by the victim of the crime but by the state which has failed to prevent a crime.

The court stated that the risk of mistakes made by the state must be borne by the state itself and the mistakes should not be corrected at the account of the residents. 

The court’s focus was on the parcel located in the prestigious location of Vilnius, in M. K. Čiurlionis street, by the hotel Crowne Plaza Vilnius which was purchased by two business partners for construction of an apartment building in 2010. The value of the transaction was 1 million 100 thousand litas (318.582 euro).

About one year later when the five-storey apartment building was already projected and the procedures to obtain the building permits were already initiated, the Prosecutor’s Office appealed to the court and requested to recognize the transactions as unlawful and arrested the parcel. It was determined that the property documents of the parcel were forged in 2001 already and the judges of Vilnius District Court participated in this issue. 

The interests of the victims who had acquired the parcel were defended by Gediminas Blaškevičius, the partner of the Professional Association of Lawyers Kručkauskas, Blaškevičius, Gruodis and Partners ConsulTax, according to whom, it was determined during the pre-trial investigation that the persons who have later transferred the parcel to the developers of the Real Estate, had agreed with the judge Anželika Šimaitienė who have later forged the court decision and therefore reinstated the property rights. The judge was convicted of this criminal offense. 

The National Land Service under the Ministry of Agriculture participated in the case where it took the position that the victims themselves must initiate additional cases against the persons who have tricked them and request the lost property in courts, regardless of the fact that the fraudsters have no valuable property to cover the damages. According to G. Blaževičius, the Association considers that such position violates the principle of justice as such actions cannot be implemented after the period of seven years has passed because it is probable that the fraudsters have no money or registered property to cover the damages suffered by the victims.

The development of the Real Estate has been suspended after the arrest of the parcel. The litigation process lasts for seven years and the customers still have not regained the money they have invested. 

Such concrete method of modified restitution was applied for the first time in the practice of Lithuanian courts. G. Blaškevičius states that they have proved to the court that the judge had committed a crime in her office by using the seal with the Coat of Arms and acting on behalf of the state; therefore, the damages suffered by the victims must be covered by the state.

The Attorney emphasizes that although the court has defended the victims, another state institution – the National Land Service (NLS) – has appealed this decision: “We are surprised by the decision of this institution to ignore the fact that the court system was compromised and the hard crime was committed on behalf of the state. NLS should be interested in restoration of trust in state institutions and the court system as soon as possible but it does the opposite and questions the apparent obligation of the state to compensate the damages”. 

Attorney G. Blaškevičius emphasizes that in this case they currently considers the opportunity to prepare an additional claim of at least 1 million euro against the state regarding the suspended construction, loss of income and award of profits.