VINLUS, June 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The Vilnius District Court found opposition Socialist People’s Front leader Algirdas Paleckis guilty of the denial of Soviet aggression and occupation and ordered a fine of 10,400 litai (3,000 euros). The Prosecutor General’s Office appealed the acquittal of Paleckis by a city court in January 2012.
“Paleckis flagrantly denied and diminished the significance of the Soviet aggression as regards the Lithuanian Republic and grave crimes committed by Soviet forces,” Presiding Judge Regina Pocene said.
Paleckis said he would appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court. “There is one sentence one day and another sentence another day,” he said. “The punishment for having an opinion is a threat to any citizen of Lithuania. That is a restriction of democracy.”
Paleckis said in a radio interview that “friends fired at friends” in the seizure of the Vilnius TV tower in January 1991. The pronouncement resulted in the opening of a criminal case. There is a law in Lithuania punishing the denial of Soviet aggression and occupation.
The court said on January 18 that the accusations were not confirmed. It also said that Paleckis did not speak about occupation or aggression but only expressed his opinion. The Prosecutor General’s Office appealed the verdict. The prosecution demanded a one-year suspended sentence on Paleckis.