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Moscow calls Lithuania’s verdict against Russian citizen politically motivated

January 27, 13:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Zakharova recalled that "in June 2015, a district court in Vilnius unexpectedly cleared the Russian citizen of the charges of committing "war crimes and crimes against humanity"

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MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. The Lithuanian authorities are using justice to execute a political order, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on Friday commenting on the verdict against a Russian national on the 1991 events in Vilnius.

"The recent ruling by Lithuania’s Court of Appeal sentenced Russian citizen Vladimir Razvodov in absentia to 12 years in prison for the crimes allegedly committed by him in 1991," she said. "We regard this decision as a continuation of Vilnius’s flawed policy aimed at using justice for executing a political order."

Zakharova recalled that "in June 2015, a district court in Vilnius unexpectedly cleared the Russian citizen of the charges of committing "war crimes and crimes against humanity," much to the displeasure of the Lithuanian authorities. "Now this allegedly wrong verdict, which was not to Lithuania’s liking, has been revised, the Russian national has been convicted," she noted.

In 2015, a Vilnius district court acquitted in absentia Russian citizens, Boleslav Makutynovich and Vladimir Razvodov, and refused to inflict a penalty for "the crimes against humanity and war crimes" allegedly committed by them in 1991. The court noted that, under international law, the alleged criminal wrongdoing could be committed only under conditions of war or occupation. Prosecutors disagreed with this interpretation of the provisions of national legislation and international law and filed a complaint against the acquittal. On January 24, the Court of Appeal said that the 1991 events should be in interpreted as the Soviet aggression against Lithuania.

The Russian citizens were also accused of involvement in the murder of seven Lithuanian border guards and customs officers at the Medininkai checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.

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