aA
Lithuanian Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius has called on the European Union to improve its existing legislation or to adopt new legal acts to ensure that the bloc's citizens are protected from political prosecution by third countries.
Elvinas Jankevičius
Elvinas Jankevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Jankevicius put forward the proposal at an informal meeting of EU justice and interior ministers in Zagreb, the Lithuanian Justice Ministry said on Thursday.

The initiative aims to protect Lithuanian judges and prosecutors involved in the January 1991 crackdown case. Russia officially accuses them of "unlawful prosecution" of its citizens".

"As shown by the Russian Federation's actions against Lithuanian judges and prosecutors, which led to the adoption of the European Parliament's resolution last November, it is very important to enhance specific legal instruments to protect our citizens from abuses of international law by a third country," Jankevicius said.

According to the minister, a politically motivated criminal prosecution process launched by a third country may lead to attempts to involve Interpol in it and make use of bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements.

The aim of Russia's process against the Lithuanian prosecutors and judges is to restrict their rights and question or arrest them, the minister said.

"Let us not forget that Lithuanian judges are judges of the whole European Union," he said. "However, any citizen of EU member states may find themselves in such a situation."

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.

In March 2018, a Vilnius court convicted former Soviet Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov and more than 60 other former Soviet officials and military officers of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the Soviet crackdown on Lithuania's independence drive. The majority of them were handed prison sentences in absentia.

In July of that year, Russia opened criminal proceedings against the Lithuanian judges and prosecutors involved in the January 13 case.

The European Parliament adopted last November a resolution calling on Russia to terminate the criminal proceedings, describing Moscow's actions as politically motivated and illegitimate.

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

Lithuania declares nationwide emergency due to coronavirus threat

The Lithuanian government declared on Wednesday a nationwide emergency in an effort to minimize...

Police chief in Kaunas Zukauskas sacked

Darius Zukauskas , chief of Kaunas County Chief Police Commissariat , has been dismissed from the...

Installation of Chinese CCTV in Kaunas raises security concern

The installation of a CCTV system produced by Chinese company Hikvision in Lithuania's...

Foreing ministry asks people to refrain from trips to Tenerife city

Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked people to refrain from trips to the Tenerife...

Defense ministry moves to introduce 'official use' label in defense system

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to introduce the " official use " label for sensitive...

Top news

Lithuania declares nationwide emergency due to coronavirus threat

The Lithuanian government declared on Wednesday a nationwide emergency in an effort to minimize...

Installation of Chinese CCTV in Kaunas raises security concern

The installation of a CCTV system produced by Chinese company Hikvision in Lithuania's...

Police chief in Kaunas Zukauskas sacked

Darius Zukauskas , chief of Kaunas County Chief Police Commissariat , has been dismissed from the...

Lithuanian author long-listed for prestigious UK literary award

Noir Press announced that Lithuanian author Grigory Kanovich has just been long-listed for the...

Lithuanian model Ieva hits the London Fashion Week catwalk

A Lithuanian student from Kėdainiai swapped designing clothes for modelling them at one of the...