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Lithuania: Court Says President Violated Constitution

Vilnius, 30 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuania's Constitutional Court today ruled that President Rolandas Paksas (pictured) violated the constitution by granting citizenship to a Russian businessman who helped him in his election campaign. The head of the court, Egidijus Kuris, announced that the decree issued by Paksas on 11 April granting citizenship to Jurijus Borisovas contradicted three articles (29, 82, and 84) of the constitution. The decision of the court is final.

Borisov was Paksas's main financial backer in his election campaign, and was accused of selling arms to Sudan in a Lithuanian security services report.

The ruling comes a day after a parliamentary commission met for the first time to decide whether Paksas should be impeached over allegations that he had links with the Russian mafia, and had endangered the security of the state.