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To try Mikhailov for crimes against humanity Lithuania appeals for Latvia's consent

Konstantinas Michailovas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Konstantinas Michailovas
Šaltinis: BNS
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Former agent of Riga OMON special unit Konstantin Mikhailov on trial in Lithuania for complicity in Medininkai checkpoint massacre on Thursday categorically disagreed with the new charges, saying he did not want to be tried on them.

Prosecutors want Mikhailov to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"I, Konstantin Mikhailov, have not committed any crime against the people of Lithuania and the Lithuanian state," he said at the Thursday hearing.

Mikhailov said Lithuanian prosecutors had no right to bring new charges against him, an opinion seconded by his defense lawyers.

After this, the Lithuanian Court of Appeals asked the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office to appeal to Latvia for her consent to the new charges against Mikhailov.

Under Lithuania's laws, a person cannot be put on trial and convicted for crimes that were not listed in the European Arrest Warrant that led to his or her extradition from a foreign state.

Mikhailov was handed over to Lithuania from Latvia on suspicion of premeditated murder. Lithuanian prosecutors want to recategorize the charges as crimes against humanity. The charges are not subject to statute of limitations.

On 11 May 2011, a court in Vilnius found Mikhailov guilty of murdering seven Lithuanian police, customs and border officers at the Medininkai checkpoint on the Belarusian border in early hours of 31 July 1991. He was sentenced to life.

Prosecutors and Mikhailov's lawyers have lodged appeals against the verdict by Vilnius District Court. The lawyers want the court to clear Mikhailov of all charges, while prosecutors propose re-qualifying charges and finding Mikhailov guilty not only of murder but also of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

BNS
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