Proposed Jan. 13 sentences are "fair", victim's son says
The sentences proposed by Lithuanian prosecutors for those on trial in absentia in the January 13, 1991 case are fair, Robertas Povilaitis, who lost his father during the bloody events, says.
"The sentences proposed by the prosecutors are fair," Povilaitis told BNS Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office is asking court to find former Soviet Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov guilty of crimes against humanity for his role in the bloody events of Jan. 13, 1991 in Vilnius and to sentence him to life imprisonment.
Life sentences are also proposed for another five defendants charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including Mikhail Golovatov, a former KGB officer who was detained at Vienna Airport in July 2011 under a European arrest warrant issued by Lithuania, but was released in less than 24 hours.
Prison sentences ranging from 12 to 20 years are also proposed for the remaining 61 defendants in this case.
Povilaitis on Monday attended a hearing of Vilnius Regional Court listening to closing arguments. He is one of the aggrieved parties in the case.
"In my final statement I would only like to express my huge dissatisfaction and regret over the decisions and the fact that (former Soviet leader Mikhail – BNS) Gorbachev is not among the defendants," Povilaitis said.
He reminded of the fact that several attempts were made to hold Gorbachev accountable for his negligent performance of official duties.
Fourteen civilians were killed and hundreds more were wounded when the Soviet troops stormed the TV Tower and the Radio and Television Committee building in Vilnius in the early hours of Jan. 13, 1991.