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Lithuanian opposition figure’s case fabricated, politicized, says Russian foreign ministry

Paletskis was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. The case against the Lithuanian opposition politician Algirdas Paletskis is fabricated and politicized, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department Alexander Bikantov said in a commentary released on Saturday.

"This criminal case was initially fabricated and politicized. It serves as another example of Vilnius’ using the punitive justice against those having a view on historical issues different from that of the official authorities," he said.

"We will continue bringing up the issue of illegal kangaroo court of Algirdas Paletskis, together with other facts of lawlessness ongoing in Lithuania, at relevant international organizations," the diplomat added.

Paletskis was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. The sentence is not final and could be challenged in the Lithuanian Court of Appeal. The prosecution demanded a sentence of nine years.

The case involved two suspects: the former leader of the Socialist People’s Front party Paletskis, and businessman Deimantas Bertauskas. They were accused of two episodes. One involves the collection of information about Lithuanian judges and prosecutors who worked on the 1991 January Events - allegedly on the request of Russian intelligence services; another one involved a search for medics, who would allegedly agree to issue a fake medical noted about the health of Russian citizen Yuri Mel, sentenced under the same case, who is suffering from diabetes.

Paletskis did not acknowledge his guilt, but did not refuse to testify. He was put under arrest in October 2018 and was released into intensive supervision in April 2020.