Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Controversial Lithuanian politician set to apply for political asylum in Belarus

BelaPAN

Controversial Lithuanian politician Vytautas Sustauskas plans to apply for political asylum in Belarus, news website delfi.lt reported with reference to television network LNK.

The 68-year-old former mayor of Lithunia’s second largest city of Kaunas currently studies the application procedures, the report said. "I have acquaintances and relatives there," Mr. Sustauskas was quoted as saying. "I cannot live in Lithuania any longer. I’m placed under pretrial investigation as soon as I touch something. You’re afraid of drinking water because it may be poisoned."

According to Mr. Sustauskas, 56 criminal cases have been opened against him in the last 20 years, and he has paid 15,000 lits ($5,800 at the current exchange rate) in fines and served 30 days in jail. Known for his disparaging remarks about gays and Jews, he was arrested by police on July 27 for disorderly conduct prior to a gay pride parade in Vilnius.

Ms. Sustauskas said that he wanted to retain Lithuanian citizenship in the event of obtaining political asylum in Belarus. About a year ago, he announced his intention to seek political asylum in the United States.