2019.12.13 13:00

After brutal killing in Lithuania, family demands life sentences for three men

BNS 2019.12.13 13:00

The prosecution and the victim's family are seeking life sentences for three men standing trial for the murder of a young woman in 2017, Prosecutor Gintas Ivanauskas told reporters on Thursday. 

Ieva Strazdauskaitė was reported missing in March 2017 after she disappeared on her way from her parents' home in the northwestern town of Plungė to Vilnius. After several days of intensive search, her body was found in the central district of Kedainiai.

According to the case-file, Strazdauskaitė's luxury car apparently became the motive for her murder. The accused staged a traffic accident on the Kaunas-Vilnius motorway and kidnapped the woman after she got out of her car. She was later beaten to death with a shovel.

The family of Ieva Strazdauskaitė demand life sentences for the men and 400,000 euros in non-pecuniary damages, the family's lawyer told the court.

After the prosecution and the family's lawyer made their statements, the trial was adjourned to give the defence time to prepare their closing statement.

The three cousins from the central town of Kedainiai – Karolis Bieliauskas, Leonas Bieliauskas and Mantas Bieliauskas – were charged with torturing and cruelly murdering a person in a helpless state. They murdered the young woman as a group in an effort to conceal another crime, according to the prosecution.

The men were also charged with unlawfully depriving a person of liberty and with causing damage to property. Life imprisonment is the maximum sentence that can be imposed for these offences.

The accused partially admitted to the charges.