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Directly from Vilnius:
Report on the Lileikis trial session November 5th, 1998

On second week of October, the medical commission decided sharing the responsiblity on medical Expertise with the court. A further session has been fixed for November 5th. Lileikis arrived in Lithuania in June 1996 short time before being stipped off his US-citizenship. The former head of Vilna Security Police "SAUGUMAS" is made responsible for the death of 70.000 people, collaborating with the Germans between 1941-44. The lithuanian society is divided on the issue of the local helpers. The defender of the alleged war criminal has done all he can to influence the public. Lileikis claims being innocent.

A very unusual courtroom: Lileikis arrived shortly before 9 o’clock in a minivan, accompanied by two lady assistants. He wore a grey suit and a thick medical neckband supporting his head. His helpers placed him in a wheelchair and carried him up the stairs in the court building, surrounded by journalists with cameras. In the court room, apart from about 30-40 journalists and Joel Lion from the Israel embassy to the Baltics, there were representatives of the LNSVS -Lithuanian Party of Nationalsocialist Unity (Lithuanian Nazi Party, not officially registered as such) with their leader Mindaugas Murza, and Petras Cidzikas from the association of former political prisoners with some supporters. There were no representatives of the Lithuanian Jewish community.

Strange Priorities

Immanuel Singer (Immanuelis Zingeris) head of presidential Historical commission and Seimas (Parliament member) preferred holding a speech on a confernce of the Lithuanian Center for Research of Genocide and ressistance, an institution mainly oocupied on investigation of Sovjet crimes. The Center published statements that are seen by Historians, such as the top scientists for Jewish History in the Baltics, Prof. Dov Levin, as blantant Historic Revisionism.

The procedure

There was plenty of time to take pictures and film in the court room before the three judges came in. Some formalities took place - the participants were presented, one member of the forensic medical commission was sworn as a witness, Lileikis, his lawyer, and the prosecutors were asked if they objected to the composition of the judges’ committee, and Lileikis was asked about his personal data and told about his rights. It was agreed that the session could be held without participation of the afflicted. Two major witnesses could not arrive to the trial; one of them had passed away, the other, Kazys Gimzauskas, Lileikis’ former deputy at the Security police, was too ill, it was claimed. The documents concerning Gimzauskas were transferred to Prosecution last week. A trial is not very realistic in his case.

During the entire session, people crossed the room, doors clapped, and the atmosphere reminded a train station rather than a solemn session. The judge did not seem to care if anyone could understand what he or the other participants said. The only exception was made for Lileikis himself, who apparently has difficulties to hear. Each word was repeated into his ear by one of his helpers.

Manifestations of Lithuanian Nationalists in courtyard, accusing the Jews of Genocide...

Manifestationen von litauischen Extremisten im Gerichtsaal, die Juden des Völkermordes

Lileikis 50kB / S.Laster - haGalil


Lileikis made a statement of a few minutes, which he apparently had prepared beforehand. In an almost unhearable voice, but in coherent sentences and quite firmly, he said he had worked for Lithuania for all his life, and was „absolutely innocent“ of crimes. He finished with a quotation from the Pater noster, saying „God’s will may be, in Heaven and on Earth.“ In spite of his physical weakness, Lileikis did not seem afflicted mentally at all. Then the session was interrupted for 30 minutes and Lileikis wheeled out to give him some medical first aid.

Manifestations of Neo Nazis and Ultranationalists in court

Meanwhile, the journalists had plenty of time and opportunity to film, photograph, and interview the representatives of the association of former political prisoners, and Mindaugas Murza, the Neo-Nazi leader (While the judges and advocates were present, use of cameras and dictaphones was not allowed. But the main things happened without their participation anyway. People attended the juridic process without expecting to hear anything new, but they showed a vivid interest as soon as the judges went out, some of them to present themselves, others to transport their ideas out into the public.) A couple of pale-faced young men (from the Lithuania Minor council) showed a poster titled „50 years since the genocide in Lithuania Minor“. Cidzikas had another poster with him, but the police hindered him to show it in public. - Cidzikas and his supporters confirmed Lileikis had committed no crime and even rescued one Jew (Shifra Grodnikaite; they had brought xerocopies of the recent article in „Valstieciu laikrastis“, see related articles in Lietuvo Rytas). Murza avoided to say how many of his men had come to the session, but expessed his happiness that no one had hindered them to come this time (see reports in LR). The reporters filmed and put everything down dutifully.

When Lileikis returned to the court room, the judges had not re-entered yet. He said something to one of his accompanying ladies, and was wheeled out without public comment, but again surounded by the clicking and humming of the cameras.

In the second part of the session, the judges announced Lileikis had been taken to hospital as first aid was not possible in the court rooms. Lileikis had complained about pain in the heart; the medicine he had been given had proven effectless.

The judge read the list of Lileikis’ diseases, and reminded that any stress situation could lead to a condition dangerous for his life. Then the member of the medical commission, Dr. M., was asked what had caused the change in Lileikis’ condition, making him unfit to continue. The answer was that the cameras and the fuss in the court room had upset the patient and led to a stress situation.

Lileikis / 31kBHealth condition as obstacle for the trial

Matuiza asked why the conclusions of the new medical expertise (which in principle allowed Lileikis to take part in the sessions) differed from those of the two 1997 expertises although Lileikis had not been examined anew. Dr. M. explained that among the numerous diseases it was only the heart diseases which could cause danger for his life; apart from that, the diseases Lileikis suffered from did not hinder him from testifying. So the different expertises based on the same data but came to different conclusions. The expert of forensic medicine said Lileikis’ condition was neither worsening nor improving constantly and impossible to foresee. The last two questions by Algirdas Matuiza were if today’s stress situation was the cause of Lileikis’ worsened condition, and whether the physicians’ commission would feel responsible if Lileikis died. Both questions were answered with yes.

The session ended shortly after 10 o’clock. The judges declared that Lileikis would be examined in hospital and scheduled a new meeting on Monday, 9 November, 9 a.m. to hear the report on Lileikis’ state of health. Then they left. Remaining journalists and representatives were asked to clear the room for the next session, which was to take place shortly afterwards.

The Farce in the Lileikis case goes on.

Statement of Efraim Zuroff, head of Wiesenthal center in Jerusalem: The statement given by Lileikis today, that all his actions stemmed from Lithuanian patriotism, and all his life he has served only the cause of Lithuania, "it should be obvious to the Lithuanian authorities how important it is for their country`s future that such "patriots" be tried and punished in a Lithuanian court of law. Their failure to do so will have serious implications for Lithuania`s future and the hopes to fully integrate into democaratic Europe, states Efraim Zuroff, head of Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

SLW for

Directly from Vilnius
Reports on the Lileikis Trial: Mirror of Lithuanian Press


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haGalil onLine - Donnerstag 05-11-98

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