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Archivierte Meldungen aus den Jahren 1995 - 1999


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Lithuanian Newspapers on January 6, 1999

Lietuvos aidas (Front page, page 3)

Zuroff Came To Trial And Waited For Defendant In Vain


With a picture of Dr. Zuroff titled "Efraim Zuroff said the proceedings themselves were the most important thing, and regretted that it did not take place"

The Vilnius District Court yesterday opened the trial of Kazys Gimzauskas who is accused of Jewish genocide, but as the defendant failed to appear to the session, the court will first have to decide whether to order a new medical expertise. The former assistant to the head of the Vilnius district Security Department, 90-year-old Gimzauskas is accused of collaboration in a crime and of genocide of inhabitants of Lithuania.

His defender Valentinas Staugaitis said yesterday that Mr. Gimzauskas was in a bad condition of health and could therefore not attend the trial session. A medical expertise had been made in December 1997, stating he suffered from various diseases of the head, heart and others. The expertise also states most of these diseases were incurable and questioning the patient was impossible, because it would afflict his state of health even more.

On the basis of this expertise Gimzauskas‘ defender asked to stop the proceedings. However, prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius asked the court to order a repeated medical expertise to find out about any possible changings in the defendant‘s condition and to state if his present state of health would allow him to participate in trial sessions.

As the first expertise was carried out more than a year ago, Valentukevicius considered it purposive to order a repeated one.

The court is expected to declare its decision today. Defender Staugaitis told journalists after the session that his defender was very weak, mostly lay in bed and "hardly able to walk around in the room". According to the defender, the Gimzauskas trial could take place only in case of a change in the law which does not allow to try without the defendant participating in the session. The present law foresees this procedure only in case the defendant is outside Lithuania and refuses to appear to the trial.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office, who is observing the proceedings, does not agree that Gimzauskas should be tried in absentia. "He has to stand trial in order for justice to be ascertained", Zuroff told the journalists whose exclusive attention slightly annoyed him.

The Vilnius court had decided to try Gimzauskas last November, without complying with the defender‘s request to join the case together with that of Gimzauskas‘ former superior Aleksandras Lileikis and to stop the proceedings.

The proceedings against Lileikis, who also is accused of genocide of inhabitants of Lithuania, were held up on November 9 after the defendant had suffered a heart attack and he was taken to hospital. They will be renewed when Lileikis will recover and be able to attend the sessions. [Both Lileikis and Gimzauskas] are accused of genocide of inhabitants of Lithuania during the Nazi occupation.

Lileikis‘ incrimination dossier names 75 and Gimzauskas‘ five concrete Jews whom they according to the incrimination condemned to death between autumn 1941 and July 1944. Both of them reject the accusations.


Lietuvos rytas (page 2)

Defendant‘s Health At Issue In Court

BNS, ELTA, and Lietuvos rytas information

With a picture showing Dr. Zuroff from behind, titled "Zuroff claims that Gimzauskas must stand trial". Contents as above.


Respublika (page 5)

Gimzauskas Trial Postponed

By Algis Kutrevicius (slightly shortened)

With a picture of Dr. Zuroff titled "Efraim Zuroff does not conceal that he came especially [to attend] the Gimzauskas trial"

The Judges‘ Board of the Criminal Department of the Vilnius District Court postponed the proceedings against Kazys Gimzauskas, accused of genocide of inhabitants of Lithuania, because the defendant did not appear at the court. Gimzauskas […] is accused of having handed over five Lithuanian Jews to the Ypatingasis Burys which was subordinated to the Germans and killing persons of Jewish nationality.

Gimzauskas, who will be 91 in a few days, did not appear to the session. Defender Staugaitis said his defendant was very weak and hardly able to walk in his room. He asked to stop the proceedings. Prosecutor Valentukevicius agreed that Gimzauskas could not be tried but asked to carry out another expertise to state whether the defendant was able to attend the sessions. The last expertise in 1997 had yielded the result that any questioning could afflict Gimzauskas‘ health; he suffers from diseases of head and heart, has a poor sight and lacks one kidney due to cancer. […] Because of his poor health Gimzauskas has not been interrogated in his own case; he only testified as a witness in the case of his former superior Aleksandras Lileikis. He had then claimed to have worked in the Security Police on order of the underground organization "Lietuviu frontas". Gimzauskas denies to have participated in the annihilation of persons of Jewish nationality.

The Court should announce today whether a new expertise will be ordered. Yesterday Staugaitis had said his defendant could be brought to the court only in a wheelchair.

Efraim Zuroff, leader of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was also present at the court. After the session he told journalists he did not consider himself the most important person in this session, but expressed his regret that the sessions did not take place.

On Thursday this week the District Court is scheduled to examine the criminal case of Aleksandras Lileikis who is incriminated with the same crimes. His case had been started to examine before, but the wheelchaired Lileikis suddenly felt bad and was taken to hospital. The forensic medical expertise stated Lileikis was able to attend in sessions, but questioning him could lead to a condition dangerous for his life.


Lietuvos Zinios (p. 14)

Old Man Accused Of Jewish Genocide Still Bound By Disease

With a picture by Gintaras Janavicius, showing Dr. Zuroff in the Bishops‘ Conference building.

Today the Vilnius District Court is expected to start examining the case of Kazys Gimzauskas, accused of Jewish genocide. As Gimzauskas did not appear at the court yesterday, so the court considered to order a new expertise. The final decision will be announced today. As ELTA reported, the trial of Aleksandras Lileikis, former head of the Nazi-subordinated Vilnius district Security Police, was held up in November last year.

--- Health

[Staugaitis asked to stop the proceedings because of his defendant‘s bad state of health. Valentukevicius agreed with this fact but asked for a new expertise because the first one had been carried out more than a year ago.] The bew expertise should answer to the questions in what way Gimzauskas‘ state of health changed, whether his present condition allows him to attend court sessions, and if this should not be the case, so why.

--- Expertise

[Summary of the 1997 expertise]. After the short court session Gimzauskas‘ defender Staugaitis told journalists that his defendant was impossible to try. He was not even able to reach the courtroom by the steps, but would have to be carried up in a wheelchair.

--- Genocide

[The defender is accused to have handed over five Jews to the German police.] Gimzauskas himself claims to have worked in the Security Police on order of the Lithuanian underground leadership and to have had nothing to do with murders of Jews.

--- Jews

In the courtroom, Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who, following a tradition, had arrived from Israel before the scheduled proceedings, said he was not an important person in the trial, although Lithuanian media has long ago christened (= named) him a vigilant watcher. However, according to Mr. Zuroff, the proceedings themselves are very important, so it was regrettable that they did not take place.


Kauno diena

Gimzauskas Trial Also Skids

By Renaldas Gabartas

Contents basically as above. About the Wiesenthal Center, Gabartas writes:

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who had especially come from Israel and attended the trial, also expressed himself against the possibility to try Gimzauskas in absentia and at the same time regretted that the trial did not take place. "He has to stand trial in order for justice to be ascertained", said Zuroff, who is known (notorious) for his harsh statements and his especially intensive activity in prosecuting Nazi helpers. Although the director of the Wiesenthal Center modestly said he was not an important person, many people who are interested in the "Jewish issue" think that the Center and certain influential Israeli politicians exert enormous pressure to convict assumed perpetrators of genocide at any cost. This caused some trouble in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary since the birth of the Vilnius Gaon; and for the same reason, the logical demand of Lileikis‘ and Gimzauskas‘ defenders to question additional witnesses, to examine newly submitted material, and finally to join the two cases into one, were ignored for some time.

haGalil onLine - Mittwoch 06-01-99

Die hier archivierten Artikel stammen aus den "Anfangsjahren" der breiten Nutzung des Internet. Damals waren die gestalterischen Möglichkeiten noch etwas ursprünglicher als heute. Wir haben die Artikel jedoch weiterhin archiviert, da die Informationen durchaus noch interessant sein können, u..a. auch zu Dokumentationszwecken.

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