Vilnius court finds no grounds for bringing case against Vanagaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

The Vilnius Regional Court ruled on Wednesday that there were no grounds for opening a pre-trial investigation regarding statements by Rūta Vanagaitė, an author and public relations specialist, about Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance commander Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas.

"No intent was found in Vanagaitė's actions. This happened because the person acted too hastily," Judge Vladislavas Lenčikas told BNS.

The judge believes that the writer made a mistake in failing to take all the material and NKVD methods into consideration.

He said that Vanagaitė's remarks were not so dangerous as to require considering subjecting Vanagaite to criminal liability, noting that she had apologized in public for her comments.

The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office said in November that Vanagaitė's remarks about Ramanauskas-Vanagas could not be recognized as a crime as there was no evidence that she had deliberately made false statements with the aim of undermining people's respect.

The law-enforcement 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 statements that the partisan commander was not tortured by the Soviets and that he collaborated with the KGB.

The Lithuanian Freedom Fights Movement appealed the prosecutors' finding to the court.

Vanagaite in early November admitted having made false statements about the partisan commander and offered a public apology for her "hasty and arrogant" comments.

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

Vanagaite told Lithuanian and foreign media that, based on KGB documents, Ramanauskas-Vanagas was "no hero". According to her, the partisan commander was not tortured by the Soviets and he possibly collaborated with the KGB.

Source: BNS
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