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Lithuania‘s Permanent Representative asks UN Special Rapporteur to react to Russia's illegal actions against Lithuanian judges in January 13 case

Created: 2020.12.21 / Updated: 2020.12.21 19:01

On 21 December, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas sent a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán regarding Russia's actions against Lithuanian justice officials in January 13 case and asked him to react in accordance with his mandate.

Ambassador Krivas informed the Special Rapporteur that on 14 December 2020 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation brought criminal charges in absentia against three Lithuanian judges who had been investigating the January 13 case and intends to put them on the international wanted list.

“The Lithuanian Government considers such actions by Russia as an open pressure on Lithuania, its judicial system and law enforcement officials. It is a serious assault on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and on the rule of law in general", - the letter states.

The Soviet military attack on the TV tower and National Radio and Television building in Lithuania’s capital on January 13, 1991 resulted in 14 civilian deaths and left more than 800 people injured. Following scrupulous investigation and trial, in March 2019, Lithuanian court found 67 former Soviet officials guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in the January 13 Soviet aggression. In the meantime, the verdict has been challenged in the Lithuanian Court of Appeals, which concluded the consideration of the matter in November 2020. The sentence in this case is expected to be passed in March 2021.

This is already the second letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the January 13 case related matters.

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