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The Vilnius Regional Court has sent three summons to former Soviet leader Gorbachev asking him to testify as a witness in a mass trial related to the bloody events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius.
The case of the January 13
The case of the January 13
© TEISMAI.LT

The Prosecutor General's Office and criminal police, meanwhile, continue to collect and check data about suspects in a pre-trial investigation that was in the fall of 2014 separated from the criminal case which is currently being heard by the Vilnius court.

In the investigation, nine Russian citizens are currently suspected of crimes against humanity and war crimes and additional information about 74 other persons is being gathered.

The case that is being head by the Vilnius Regional Court involves more than 60 defendants, only two of whom are present in court. All others are tried in absentia. The court is currently hearing victims' testimonies in the trial, which has been has been going on for almost a year now.

The court has sent summons to Gorbachev by conventional post, electronically and through the Justice Ministry, but his spokesman Vladimir Polyakov told BNS that the ex-Soviet leader had not received any summons to testify.

According to Polyakov, Gorbachev is not considering going to the court to testify until he has received the summons.

According to Judge Ainora Kornelija Macevičienė, the Vilnius Regional Court sent the summons, both by conventional post and electronically, to Gorbachev last month.

The court last October decided to question Gorbachev as a witness at the request of Robertas Povilaitis, whose father Apolinaras Povilaitis died in the bloody crackdown on protesters in Vilnius in January 1991, and his lawyer.

Mikhail Golovatov, former commander of the KBG's Alpha Group and one of the defendants in the trial, said in Moscow last August that the bloody January 1991 events in Vilnius could not have happened without Gorbachev knowing it.

Gorbachev has denied having given an order to open fire in Vilnius.

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.

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