For 73-year-old Edita Mackevičiene, who is almost unable to move without a wheelchair, the beginning of the story that turned into a nightmare was an announcement on Facebook. The woman wrote that she will accept an orderly family who can take care of the house and the environment to live in her homestead in the Trakai district free of charge.
Gitana and Arūnas, a married couple who were temporarily sheltering in Varėna district, quickly responded. Before the keys were handed over and the properties were shown, they were met by the emigrant’s daughter.
“People, take heart. Both hardworking and responsible. And the husband is a real goldsmith,” said E. Mackevičienė’s daughter.
Shortly after this conversation, at the end of 2020, the family settled in the homestead.
Newcomers wrote messages and thanked the landlady living in London.
“I will be grateful to you all my life for accepting us to live. We will try as much as we both can”, wrote Gitana S.
Asked to move out
In March 2021, E. Mackevičienė briefly returned to Lithuania and decided to see how the spouses settled in her homestead.
When she arrived early in the morning, she saw an eerie sight – the house was destroyed, everything was broken. And the temporary residents were fighting and screaming among themselves.
“Everything broke. I asked them to move out and not show up again”, said E. Mackevičienė.
However, the couple was not going to move.
“We will lock you up in Lukiške, and we will live here ourselves. We have fixed more than one of these,” threatened Arūnas S. Gitana S. soon called the General Assistance Center and called the police.
“We live with the owner, she took away our documents, locked up all our things, threw us out into the street, I’m very cold, I’m without a jacket, nothing. We can’t go inside, if we climb through the windows, the neighbors will call the police,” the homeless woman consoled herself while crying.
When the officers arrived, they did not intervene in the conflict, they only helped the couple leaving the strange house to pack their belongings.
Complained to the police
Although at that time the spouses did not make any further claims to the owner of the house, after a few hours they went to the Varėna police station and wrote a statement. Gitana S. claimed that E. Mackevičienė brutally beat her.
“The owner showered me with obscene words and, taking a metal bottle, began to beat me, hitting me at least 10 times on various parts of my body.
I was in a lot of pain because of those blows,” the woman told the researcher during the interview.
When questioned, her spouse also testified that the pensioner also beat and kicked him.
“I heard my wife’s scream. I ran back and saw that my wife was sitting on the floor, and E. Mackevičienė was hitting her with a metal foam can. He hit and kicked me too,” Arūnas S. told the police.
Allegations were made
When she found out that she was accused of beating two people, the disabled pensioner just laughed and soon left for London, where she lives and receives treatment.
“I’ve just been out of surgery and had a pacemaker implanted. Unhealed wounds on the right hand and 8 broken places on the left. Lymph nodes were removed during surgery for oncological disease.
I can barely hold a cup of tea and struggle to unscrew a medicine bottle. How could I beat a 45-year-old healthy woman and her two-meter-tall husband?” – wondered E. Mackevičienė.
But the laughs soon ended. The woman was informed that she was accused of beating Gitana S.
“Intentionally beating Gitana S., inflicting at least 10 blows with an aerosol can on various parts of the body, caused physical pain and caused blood loss,” according to the allegations.
In addition, E. Mackevičienė, who was already in London, was obliged to undergo a psychiatric examination at the Rokiškis psychiatric hospital, which would determine whether the woman was accused at the time of the crime.
Immediately after this obligation, E. Mackevičienė’s lawyer, Eligija Norkienė, wrote a request to Gedimin Vilučius, the prosecutor of the Vilnius District Prosecutor’s Office supervising the pre-trial investigation, to cancel the obligation to perform a psychiatric examination.
The lawyer attached to the application a certificate from the London Family Health Center that her client suffers from 12 serious diseases, including cancer.
“It can be seen from the medical report that E. Mackevičienė is not being treated for mental disorders and there are no documents that forced medical measures should be prescribed to her,” explained the lawyer.
In addition, the lawyer also submitted documents proving that her client’s health has deteriorated significantly.
“Due to bad health, E. Mackevičienė cannot return to Lithuania, she hardly walks, sits in a wheelchair and is being treated in London,” said E. Norkienė.
However, the prosecutor G. Vilutis rejected this request, and the investigator of the Trakai Police Commissariat, Lina Sabaliauskienė, continued to make decisions obliging the pensioner to undergo a psychiatric examination.
Changed his testimony
As the pre-trial investigation progressed, in October 2021, the victim Gitana S. unexpectedly changed her testimony.
“Even though I wrote a statement, please consider it no longer valid and consider that I did not write a statement, because I have no claims against E. Mackevičiene. I do not mean any civil action now or later, neither property nor non-property.
I ask that the pre-trial investigation be terminated in the absence of my statement or complaint, or on other grounds,” Gitana S. stated during the additional questioning.
Law enforcement officers did not calm down
It seemed that the case would be closed, but the investigator and the prosecutor only intensified the pre-trial investigation.
The authorities knew that E. Mackevičienė lives in London, but early in the morning a crew was sent to her apartment on Kalvariju Street to arrest and bring the disabled pensioner to the police.
The police who came with beacons and sirens only woke up the neighbors, and from them they learned what was already known – the woman lives in England.
But the law enforcement officers did not calm down. In September last year, the researcher L. Sabaliauskienė made a decision to publish the search for E. Mackevičienė.
She had to be detained in England and brought to Lithuania.
“I think that the investigator and the prosecutor colluded, knowing about the critical state of my health, that I am receiving treatment and permanently living in London, they hoped to force me to confess to the crime and compensate the victim,” E. Mackevičienė thought.
Although E. Norkienė wrote numerous complaints and requests to terminate the pre-trial investigation, no arguments helped.
Prosecutor G. Vilutis replied to the lawyer’s arguments that the victim herself is requesting the termination of the pre-trial investigation, that this request means nothing and Gitana S.’s first statement is valid.
The prosecutor refused to stop the pre-trial investigation also because of the suspect’s deteriorating health.
Although numerous documents were submitted to prove this, the official called them dubious.
Ramunė Valiulytė, the judge of the district court of the Vilnius region, also rejected the request to terminate the pre-trial investigation due to deteriorating health.
According to her assertion, “E. Mackevičienė had health problems, but she lived her daily life with them and could have committed a crime – violence against another person”.
The prosecutor changed his mind
However, the prosecutor suddenly changed his mind and stopped the pre-trial investigation.
After a two-year investigation, when the case swelled to 10 volumes, prosecutor G. Vilutis decided that the criminal act committed by E. Mackevičienė was insignificant: “There is reason to believe that E. Mackevičienė will obey the law and not commit new criminal acts. The act committed by her has not reached such a degree of danger that the application of criminal measures is justified.”
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