The top executive of the Lithuanian publishing house that translated a book by Russian journalist Galina Sapozhnikova will stand charges for public approval of and denial of Soviet crimes.
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Vilnius prosecutors have closed a pre-trial investigation that resulted in charges against publisher Povilas Masilionis, 78, the Prosecutor General's Office said.

Publishing house Politika, which is part of Masilionis' company Mūsų Gairės, has published a monograph The Price of Betrayal, translation of Sapozhnikova's book controversial Who Betrayed Whom.

According to the press release, the publication distorts historic facts about the 1991 massacre of unarmed people outside the Vilnius TV Tower, the murder at the Medininkai checkpoint and other 1990-1991 developments in Lithuania.

Tomas Uldukis, organized crimes and corruption prosecutor at the Prosecutor General's Office, said Masilionis was charged with publicly approving and downgrading the grave and very grave crimes of the 1990-1991 aggression against Lithuania and its citizens by initiating the Lithuanian publication of Sapozhnikova's monograph and stating support to the statements given in the book in the editorial message.

The investigation found that it was Masilionis' initiative to translate the book into Lithuanian, furthermore, he wrote an editorial message to the Lithuanian translation and paid the publishing house from his own pocket.

The book has been published in 530 copies.

Sapozhnikova has been declared persona non grata in Lithuania and is not allowed to enter the country.

Masilionis' case has reached a Vilnius court. The publisher faces restriction of freedom, arrest of up to two years in prison.

BNS
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