2021.10.21 16:57

Trial into Soviet crackdown in Vilnius ‘Lithuanian Nuremberg’, says FM

BNS2021.10.21 16:57

The detention in Greece of a Ukrainian citizen convicted by a Lithuanian court in the January 1991 Soviet crackdown case is part of a "Lithuanian Nuremberg", Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Thursday. 

Landsbergis told the Žinių Radijas radio that he contacted his Greek counterpart on Wednesday to "inform him about the importance of this man both for our legal system and for our history" and likened the situation to the Nuremberg trials of former Nazi leaders after World War Two.

"I compared the situation, perhaps not necessarily correctly, with the Nuremberg case, when the Western world was on the hunt for those who organised crimes against humanity during the Second World Wa," the minister said.

Read more: January 13, 1991. The night when Lithuania faced Soviet troops – through the eyes of ordinary people

"I said this is a Lithuanian Nuremberg case. In fact, we have one of the biggest crimes committed against our people, and we are likewise trying to find the organisers of it all over the world," he said.

"One of them is in Greece today. I hope that this will be taken very seriously and the man will be returned to us," the minister added.

Lithuanian officials said on Wednesday that Alexander Radkevich, a Ukrainian citizen convicted in the so-called January 13 case, had been detained in Greece.

He was detained back in mid-September, but it took time to ascertain his identity, the Greek authorities said.

Earlier, the news website reported that Radkevich, 53, was sentenced to four years in prison for driving a tank involved in the events at the Lithuanian capital's Press House.

Radkevich is one of 67 people handed prison sentences in the mass trial.

Fourteen civilians were killed and hundreds more were wounded when the Soviet troops stormed the TV Tower and the Radio and Television Committee building in Vilnius in the early hours of January 13, 1991.

The Soviet Union used military force in its attempt to remove the government of Lithuania which declared independence on March 11, 1990.

Read more: Lessons for Baltics after Soviet aggression thirty years ago

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