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Lithuania's Impeached President In Hospital

Prague, 7 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Rolandas Paksas, the Lithuanian president who was removed from office yesterday when he was impeached, is in the hospital.

Lithuanian Health Minister Juozas Oleksas says Paksas has been admitted to hospital. The minister today confirmed a report in the daily newspaper "Res Publika" that Paksas' "life was not at risk." Oleksas declined to give further details.

According to "Res Publika," Paksas was admitted to the cardiac intensive unit last night, only hours after the Vilnius parliament threw him out on three counts of corruption.

The Baltic News Service said a panel of medical experts will decide today how long Paksas will have to stay in hospital.

Paksas was found guilty of having granted citizenship to a Russian businessman in return for campaign funding, of breaching state secrets, and of influencing the outcome of a privatization.

The votes were close. Eighty-five votes from the 141-seat parliament were needed to pass each count. The assembly cast 86 votes in favor of the first and second counts and 89 for the third count.

Paskas is the first European president to be removed through impeachment. Parliament speaker Arturas Paulauskas becomes the acting president and new elections must be held in 60 days.