Vanagaite's remarks about Lithuanian partisan leader not a crime - prosecutors

Rūta Vanagaitė

Recent remarks by Rūta Vanagaitė, an author and public relations specialist, about Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance commander, cannot be recognized as a crime as there is no evidence that she deliberately made false statements with the aim of undermining people's respect, the Prosecutor General's Office said on Friday.

Law-enforcement bodies refused to launch a pre-trial investigation over suspicions of slander and contempt for the memory of Ramanauskas-Vanagas.

Prosecutors were asked to look at Vanagaitė's false statements that the partisan commander was not tortured by the Soviets and that he collaborated with the KGB.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, criminal proceedings could be brought against Vanagaitė if it were proved that she "realized that she was making false statements about the deceased and that this could arouse contempt for or undermine respect to the memory of the deceased" and that these false statements were made in anticipation of such reaction by the public.

There is no evidence that the writer "acted in a premeditated manner", it said in a press release.

According to the prosecutors, her statements have to be evaluated from the ethical and moral point of view.

Vanagaitė last week admitted having made false statements about Ramanauskas-Vanagas and offered a public apology for her "hasty and arrogant" comments.

In response to Vanagaitė's statements, the publishing house Alma Littera ended cooperation with the author and withdrew her books from the market.

Ramanauskas-Vanagas was arrested 1956, tortured by Soviet officials and executed a year later. He was posthumously honored with top state awards after Lithuania regained independence in 1990.

Source: BNS
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