Belfast Telegraph

This wanted man was let out of prison by mistake... now it emerges he had been living openly in village for 4 months

By Connla Young

A suspected rapist wanted for murder was living openly in a small Co Down town despite being one of Northern Ireland’s most wanted men.

The revelation came at a bail hearing in Newry Magistrates Court yesterday.

Lineta Kundrotiene, of Rooney Park in Kilkeel, was in the dock on charges of perverting the course of justice, assisting offenders and withholding information regarding the murder of Dmytro Grytsunov in Kilkeel on April 23.

Grytsunov (29) was shot dead at Rooney Park during a clash between two groups of foreign nationals.

The court heard that suspected rapist Devidas Paliutas, who was mistakenly released from prison last year, had been living with Kundrotiene and her two children in the seaside town for four months. He had made no attempts to disguise himself, was using his real name and was even taking Kundrotiene's daughters to and from the local school.

Police now believe he was the gunman behind the murder of Grytsunov last weekend, the court was told.

In her application for bail, the defence told the court that Kundrotiene was unaware of her boyfriend's background and had no idea he was a suspected rapist or unlawfully at large.

Objecting to bail, a detective constable told District Judge Eamon King that Kundrotiene had initially given false details to police and had deleted her boyfriend's contact details from her phone in a bid to protect him.

However, the court also heard that, over the course of four days’ questioning, Kundrotiene had eventually given officers “significant” information — so much so that she may be called on as a police witness.

Defence argued that there was now “a degree of embarrassment” on the part of police that “one of the country's most wanted men” was living so openly in the close-knit community of Kilkeel without their knowledge.

The court heard that Kundrotiene had met Paliutas on the internet and that he “was good to her and her children”.

The defence asserted that 32-year-old Kundrotiene was “naive, stupid even, but not dangerous”, and that she had initially lied to police out of “a misguided sense of loyalty”.

Judge King granted bail of £500 with a surety of a further £500. The judge also ordered Kundrotiene to live at an address approved by police, observe a curfew, report three times a week to the PSNI and surrender her passport and ID to police for the duration of the investigation.

Kundrotiene was granted bail and ordered to reappear at Newry Magistrates Court on May 15. Paliutas remains at large and, police now believe, may have left the country.

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