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Russian suspects in Medininkai massacre case will be tried in absentia

Ryžovo gaujos nariams paskelbtas nuosprendis.
Kadras iš televizijos kanalo NTV reportažo / Alexander Ryzhov
Šaltinis: BNS
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Russia has once again refused to cooperate with Lithuania in the criminal Medininkai massacre case. Therefore, Lithuanian prosecutors plan to hand over the case to court for the suspects to be tried in absentia, Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office says.

The Office said it had received a response to a legal assistance request sent on 25 August 2011, asking Russia to perform criminal proceedings against Cheslav Mlynik, Andrey Laktyonov, and Alexander Ryzhov who are suspected of murder of seven and attempted murder of one Lithuanian officer at Medininkai checkpoint.

The Russian Prosecutor's General Office was also asked to hand over to the suspects a Lithuanian court's rulings naming them suspects, explain their rights, propose giving evidence with a defense lawyer present, and urge them to come to the Republic of Lithuania to take part in the process.

Russian prosecutors said in their response that all three suspects are citizens of the Russian Federation, and based on criminal proceedings in Russia, the country's citizens who committed crimes in foreign countries and returned to Russia may be questioned only after a commission is received to take over criminal prosecution and criminal case materials.

Following such a response of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, Lithuanian prosecutors concluded that they had met all requirements provided for in Article 187 of Lithuania's Code of Criminal Procedure and handed over to the foreign country's liaison body rulings by a Lithuanian court naming the above-mentioned individuals as suspects.

Pursuant to Lithuanian laws, such an action is considered equal to informing the suspect.

"Prosecutors of the Republic of Lithuania will perform other criminal proceedings and will consider handing over the Medininkai criminal case against Mlynik, Laktyonov, and Ryzhov to court so that they could be tried in absentia," the statement said.

European arrest warrants are issued for the arrest of the three suspects.

Seven police and customs officers were shot to death at the Medininkai checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border during the attack in early hours of 31 July 1991. The only survivor, customs officer Tomas Šernas, suffered severe brain damage and became disabled.

Only one individual has been convicted for the crime – Mikhailov, a Latvian citizen formerly known as Nikulin, was found guilty in spring 2011.

Lithuanian prosecutors have also charged Mlynik, Laktyonov, and Ryzhov in this case.

BNS
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