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Former USSR leader receives Lithuanian court’s summons as witness in case over 1991 events

January 19, 2017, 19:29 UTC+3 VILNIUS

The summons was handed on December 28 after delivery at the address of the Gorbachev Fund in Moscow

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Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

VILNIUS, January 19. /TASS/. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has received a summons from the Vilnius Circuit Court to appear there as a witness in a case over the events in and around the Vilnius broadcasting center in January 1991, the presiding judge Ainora Kornelija Maceviciene.

"The summons was handed on December 28 after delivery at the address of the Gorbachev Fund in Moscow," she said, adding that the Lithuanian court had received notification over the fact.

"The document has Gorbachev’s personal signature," Maceviciene said adding she did not have the information on whether or not Gorbachev planned to go to Lithuania or whether he had agreed to give evidence in the course of a teleconference.

Gorbachev Fund press service refrained from any comments on the issue. "We don’t comment on the situation," a spokesman told TASS.

The criminal case, which the court began to hear at the beginning of 2016, concerns the events in and around the TV broadcasting center in Vilnius in January 1991. It is unprecedented for the Lithuanian judiciary system in terms of the scope of materials under consideration and the number of people involved.

A total of fourteen people died in Vilnius in armed clashes then while the country was trapped in the duality of state power.

On January 9, 2017, the circuit court got down to questioning the complainants. The case materials list about 500 people in this category.

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