LKF shocked by detention of Mindaugas Balciunas

LKF issued an official statement following recent events and detention of LKF Secretary General Mindaugas Balciunas whose detention has been extended by 20 days by the court.

Here’s the translation of LKF’s statement signed by its President Arvydas Sabonis:

Employees of Lithuanian Basketball Federation were shocked by the investigation of the reconstruction of hotel “Romantic” that is being conducted by Special Investigation Service Panevezys Department and Panevezys Prosecutors and detention of Lithuanian Basketball Federation Secretary General Mindaugas Balciunas. M.Balciunas has worked actively in various areas, coordinated negotiations with current and potential federation sponsors, he had to participate in a number of various meetings, therefore his work had to be taken by other people.

The allegations presented to M.Balciunas shocked us because LKF agreement with Panevezys municipality wasn’t signed secretly – it was considered in the city council, all politicians of the city and municipality lawyers examined the agreement, the voting on the agreement took place.

To this moment LKF fulfilled all of its obligations under the agreement. Everyone knows, that, according to the agreement, EuroBasket 2011 group stage took place in Panevezys, many different basketball events continue to take place in this city every year. In 2012 European U-16 Championship for boys took place here, exhibition games of national teams of various age groups were played here, Lithuanian and Latvian women national team faced each other here. This year Women U-19 World Championship will take place in Panevezys. In addition, all basketball fans in arenas saw promotion of Panevezys during the games of Lithuanian national teams, city’s coat of arms was put on the training clothes of men’s national team. We are fulfilling our obligations, therefore the statement by the prosecutors, that supposedly there was a preliminary agreement on the failure to perform the agreement, was very surprising and shocking.

No sports federation can properly perform its activities without a secretary general because only he and president has certain powers. Extraordinary meeting LKF Executive Committee will take place already tomorrow, during which the powers secretary general will be assigned to another LKF employee.

Also, officers who visited LKF offices in Vilnius and Kaunas took computers of part of employees as well as some documents. It makes the work much more difficult, though LKF activities didn’t stop. At the moment we are focusing on two coming events – draw ceremony of the girls world championship that will take place on January 17 in Vilnius and Euroleague U-18 tournament which will take place in Siauliai through January 24-26. Schedules of the arrival of guests and teams, the issues of accommodation, transportation are being coordinated, yesterday we started accreditation to the draw ceremony. In addition, LKF is organizing women’s and men’s cup tournament, the search for sponsors is taking place constantly, other issues are being coordinated. There are lots of activities and they will not be affected by this situation

Arvydas Sabonis
Lithuanian Basketball Federation President