Lithuania suspects dozens of Belarusians of war crimes

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The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office has sent an appeal to Vilnius Court. They are asking to make 30 Russian and Belarusian citizens suspects in the case of January 13, 1991. But these are not all the people involved in the case, the General Prosecutor’s Office told Euroradio.

“That’s another 30 people. There was a list of 20 before the appeal to court. And there are over 30 people who will be added soon.”

The Lithuanian General Prosecutor’s Office will ask to make 81 people suspects. The first 20 have already received the status. All these people live in Russia and Belarus now.

These people are suspected of war crimes and an outrage against humanity. The Lithuanian Parliament was protected from the Soviet Army on January 13, 1991. Soviet soldiers assaulted and seized Vilnius TV centre on that day. 14 civilian residents were killed.

All the people the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office is interested in were members of administrative staff in 1991 – heads of the Communist Party, of the Ministry of Defence, Internal Affairs and KGB. There are also officers who took part in the seizure of the printing House, TV tower and the Lithuanian radio and television are among them.

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office has not announced the names of people involved in the case. It may happen after all the documents about all the people are sent to Vilnius Court:

“The names will not be revealed until all the documents are sent to court.”

It is not clear what will happen next. The official Minsk may be asked to extradite these people, the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice told Euroradio. However, Lithuania is sceptical about cooperation with Belarus. “Minsk extradites its citizens very rarely,” the Ministry noted.

It is not the first time Lithuania has become interested in Belarusian citizens involved in the bloody events of January 13, 1991. The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office demanded to extradite General Ushopchyk in 1992. However, nothing was done about it.