VILNIUS, December 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The Vilnius District Court has once again adjourned the sentence on Algirdas Paleckis, Chairman of the Socialist People’s Front of Lithuania, in the case of denying “the facts of Soviet aggression and occupation in 1940 and 1991”.
The court will hold its next hearing on January 18, 2012.
“There is an impression that the court does not know what to do with this case and tries to delay the ruling by formal grounds. No matter what ruling is passed, it will trigger a broad public response,” Paleckis told Itar-Tass.
This is the first trial on the post-Soviet space in 20 years, in which a person is charged with denying Soviet aggression and occupation.
The court adjourned the sentence for the first time on December 14, formally because one of the volumes of the case of the Vilnius events of January 13, 1991, was written in Russia. The volume contains evidence collected by Russian prosecutors by request of Lithuania. It was planned to translate the documents into the state language and to resume the hearing but allegedly that was not done.
An authorized rally in support of Paleckis was held near the court building on Friday. Over 50 people demanded the full truth about the January 1991 events and the end to persecution of dissidents.
Paleckis said in a radio interview in November 2010 that people were firing at their fellows in Vilnius in 1991. The phrase caused the opening of the criminal case. In the opinion of the Lithuanian authorities, “Soviet servicemen killed 13 unarmed civilians and one Spetsnaz soldier in taking control over the Vilnius TV tower on January 13, 1991.”
“This theory is the core of the Russophobic confrontation of the modern Lithuanian state and Russia. If the theory is crushed, the foundation of this ideology will also be gone,” he said.
Facts presented by Paleckis at the trial and testimony of witnesses were ignored. A prosecutor demanded one-year suspended sentence on Paleckis.