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Investigation of persecution of Soviet-era underground Catholic publication may last until end of 2012

Senas kryžius Šilalės rajone
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / .
Šaltinis: BNS

Vilnius prosecutors expect to finish by the end of 2012 the investigation into the persecution of a Soviet-era underground publication, Chronicles of the Catholic Church of Lithuania.

Egidijus Sleinius, one of the four prosecutors in charge of the investigation that was started in July 2010, said the end should not be expected before late December. In his words, the efforts are undermined by the fact that many years have passed since the events, which requires examination of historical and archival data. The prosecutors are now awaiting answers from the Special Archive and the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center.

"It is very hard to say when the investigation could be over but I personally think it can last as long as the end of this year," the prosecutor told BNS.

In his words, the probe was opened on 2 July 2010 in response to a call from the State Security Department and a plea of 38 people who were later declared victims in the case. The investigation is performed for crimes against humanity, which is not subject to statute of limitations.

Sleinius said no charges had yet been brought and a few dozen witnesses had been interrogated.

Alfa.lt news portal said that the collected materials have to do with former top-ranking Soviet KGB officers.

Published as an underground publication in Lithuania in 1972-1989, the Chronicles of the Catholic Church of Lithuania celebrated 40 years this spring.

Up until 1983, it was edited and coordinated by current Kaunas Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius who was arrested by the KGB for his anti-Soviet and religious activities and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Priest Jonas Boruta took over the editorial duties later.

The publication wrote about persecution and discrimination of Catholics in Lithuania, Catholic life in other Soviet republics, informing the global society about the true situation of the Church and believers in Lithuania.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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