Lithuania is once again trying to depose Gorbachev in the case of collisions in Vilnius in January 1991
The Vilnius district court intends will cause the former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev as a witness in the case of the January events in 1991, when the clashes in the capital of Lithuania, 14 people were killed. The Lithuanian Ministry of justice will send a request to Moscow, told reporters the President of the ground jury in this process, Ignore Cornelia Macavity, reports BNS.
How long will it take to the procedure is unclear, but, according to the judge, for further proceedings is not affected. In turn in a press-service “Gorbachev-Fund” journalists TASS recalled that “on the question about the events in Vilnius in 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev has repeatedly expressed in his books”.
There also informed that the intent of the Vilnius court to call Gorbachev as a witness learned from media reports. “In “Gorbachev-Fund” has not received any documents about the calling of Mikhail Gorbachev in for questioning in the case of the events of 1991 in Vilnius, we don’t know about that, except the media,” – said the press service.
This is not the first time Lithuanian authorities are trying to question Gorbachev. In 2011, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s office has already appealed to the Russian officials with a request to interview the former President of the Soviet Union in the case of the events of 13 January 1991 at the Vilnius TV tower.
“Prosecutors of the Prosecutor General prepared and sent to the Russian Federation the request for legal assistance to interview the former President of the Soviet Union”, – stated in the press release of the Prosecutor General. The press-Secretary of Department of Vilma Budrene said at the time that Gorbachev want to interview as a witness.
In January 2016, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s office reported that Moscow refused to interview at the request of Lithuanian prosecutors, the former President of the USSR. As was stated then in Vilnius, Moscow did not question Gorbachev on the basis of the provisions of the Convention of the Council of Europe of 1959 “On mutual assistance in criminal matters”, according to which legal aid is not available, if this might harm the sovereignty or security of the receiving country’s request, its ordre public or other essential interests, reminds “Interfax”.
The chief Prosecutor of the criminal prosecution Department of the Prosecutor General of Lithuania go Slapsinskas in January stated: “In the case of insufficient data, which would allow the President to recognize the USSR suspect. For this reason it is asked to interrogate a witness”. Go noted that Russia still negatively responded to all appeals of Lithuania on legal assistance, which contained the request to interrogate suspects in the case of the events of twenty years ago.
The Supreme Council of Lithuania on 11 March 1990 declared the restoration of independence of the Republic, but the Soviet authorities called the decision unconstitutional, after which the protest mood in the Republic only grew stronger. As a result, in the night of 13 January 1991, during the assault on the Soviet military units of the Vilnius TV tower and the building of Teleradiocommittee killed 14 civilians and one KGB officer.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor’s office for a long time wants Russia to assist in investigation into the storming of the Vilnius TV tower, in particular, the call on interrogation of the former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev himself has not claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, arguing that the event in Vilnius took place without his knowledge. On his innocence of the assault said other former leaders of the Soviet state.
According to the Soviet authorities, the army attacked the Vilnius television station in response to the request of the “Committee of national salvation”, an organization created by the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist party. Troops occupied the TV tower and television and radio center, but met with resistance from demonstrators and failed to capture the Parliament building. Security officers also stated that the clashes were the result of large-scale provocation, but all the victims were shot by snipers.