At a closed-door hearing on Tuesday, Vilnius Regional Court heard an appeal by Russian citizen Yuriy Mel, a suspect in the 13 January 1991 case, against a district court's decision to extend his detention for two months.
Yuriy Mel
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The regional court will announce its ruling on Thursday, said Prosecutor Gintautas Paškevičius of the Prosecutor General Office's Department for Criminal Prosecution.

Under the 9 July ruling, Mel's detention is extended until 12 September.

Mel, a former Soviet officer who served in Vilnius during the January 1991 events, was detained at Panemunė border checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Russian border on 12 March.

He faces life imprisonment on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors maintain Mel was in one of the tanks that stormed Vilnius TV tower in the early hours of 13 January 1991.

All in all, 79 citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are named suspects in the case, with European arrest warrants issued for their arrest.

Fourteen people were killed during an attempt by the Soviet army and special forces to take over Vilnius TV Tower on 13 January 1991, and more than 1,000 unarmed civilians were injured.

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