Mikhail Golovatov, a former KGB officer who is being tried in absentia for his role in the January 1991 bloody crackdown on protesters in Vilnius, does not admit to the charges and regards the case as political, his lawyer said.
Mikhail Golovatov
© AFP/Scanpix

"He finds (the process) quite strange. He thinks the case is political," Ryšardas Burda told BNS on Wednesday.

Golovatov was the commander of a squad that stormed the TV Tower and the Radio and Television Committee building in Vilnius.

Prosecutors have charged the high-ranking KGB officer with treatment of persons prohibited under international law, killing, causing bodily harm to, torture or other inhuman treatment of persons protected under international humanitarian law, carrying out a prohibited military attack, and using prohibited means of warfare.

They ask the court to sentence the 69-year-old man to life imprisonment.

Based on the case file, Golovatov lives in Moscow. He is one of the few defendants in the case who has a hired defense lawyer. Most of the defendants are represented by public lawyers.

In his defense statement on Wednesday, Burda told the court, among other things, that the public prosecutor had failed to provide evidence to either directly or indirectly link the defendant’s actions to the victims' deaths or injuries.

Fourteen civilians were killed and hundreds more were wounded when the Soviet troops stormed the TV Tower and the Radio and Television Committee building in Vilnius in the early hours of January 13, 1991

Over 60 people have been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes in the case. Most of them are tried in absentia.

Prosecutors demand that Dmitry Yazov, the Soviet Union's last defense minister, and some officers are imprisoned for life for their role in the crackdown.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

MPs greenlight Rupsys' appointment as chief of defense

The Lithuanian parliament gave on Thursday the green light for the appointment of Major General...

President to nominate Skvernelis for Prime Minister after courtesy resignation

Lithuania's new President Gitanas Nauseda is expected to nominate on Thursday Saulius Skvernelis...

Prime Minister: several ministers to be replaced in Cabinet reshuffle

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says more than one ministers will be replaced in the...

Pulkauninkas resigns as chief forest officer

Marius Pulkauninkas is set to leave the post of Lithuania's chief forest officer on August 1 after...

Nauseda to discuss future government with ruling parties

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda plans to discuss the government formation with...