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Reports on the Lileikis Trial: Mirror of Lithuanian Press

Lileikis Taken To Hospital Just After Start of Trial

Audris Kutrevicius
'Respublika' 6 November, 1998 (No. 259), p. 1, 5

[With a picture by Bronius Talaikis, titled „Lileikis was brought to the court building in a wheelchair by his relatives]

Although not a single witness had come, the Vilnius District court yesterday started to examine the criminal case of Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, who is accused of collaborating with the Nazis during the Second world war. The accused was brought to the court in a wheelchair. Shortly after he had spoken the first words and said a prayer, he started feeling bad. Experts claimed it possible that Lileikis underwent stress caused by the journalists. So it was decided to postpone the session until Monday next week.

Yesterday the Vilnius District court started to examine the criminal case of Aleksandras Lileikis, who is indicted with collaborating with theNazis during the war.

In September, physicians had listed a number of dieseases Lileikis was suffering from, and confirmed that Lileikis was able to participate in court sessions, although „any stress situation can provoke a condition dangerous for his life. Two earlier expertises had stated Lileikis was not able to testify before the Prosecutor.

Before the session, a first aid car had been ordered to the court building to give Lileikis medical aid in case he should feel sick. The medical expert Henrikas Ulevicius was also called to the court who had signed the last expertise about Lileikis‘ state of health.

Before 9 o‘ clock, a jeep approached the court building, a wheelchair was taken out and Lileikis placed into it. In the wheelchair, Lileikis was carried up to the second floor. The session took place in the same large room where Mykolas Burokevicius and Juozas Jermalavicius are being tried at the moment; earlier the cases of Henrikas Daktaras [a mafioso] and Audrius Butkevicius [member of Seimas] were examined here.

Not a single witness appeared to the trial. Kazys Gimzauskas, who used to be Lileikis‘ deputy because of his poor state of health, and Jonas Bukauskas, who also served in the Security Police during the war, has passed away. The victim Danuta Konas also did not appear because she was ill. [With a picture by Bronius Talaikis titled „During the court session, the patient Aleksandras Lileikis wore a special neckband“] The State Accusators as well as the defender agreed to examine the case in depth. The leading judge viktoras Kazys asked Lileikis if he could stand up to speak and said if Lileikis was not able to stand while speaksing, he was allowed to sit. Lileikis said, „I am sorry, but I cannot get up.“ Lileikis has severe audition problems, so his daughter, who had come from the USA, repeated the judge‘s words to him.

The session began with a check of Lileikis‘ personal data. He was born on June 10, 1907, has a juridic university degree, is a widower, pensioner, and handicapped person of the first degree. When asked if he had any requests before the juridic interrogation began, Lileikis said: „I dedicated my physical and spiritual strength to the state and the nation. Now I am powerless and chained to my bed by my diseases. Today, with th ehelp of good people, I rose from my bed and came here. I want to say that I am absolutely innocent.“ Then he said a prayer. Immediately afterwards he started to feel bad, his daughter gave him some medicine. A break of half an hour was declared. After the break, the expert Mr. Tulevicius [sic] informed the court that the accused had endured stress which was possibly caused by the photographers and the TV operators, and that he had been taken away to hospital. The expert said that Lileikis‘ condition could change, and therefore the final conclusion that he was able to participate in the trial did not contradict the earlier ones which had stated Lileikis unfit for interrogation. When Lileikis‘ defender asked him if he would feel responsible if Lileikis died, the expert answered with „yes“.

In the courtroom, there were also the former political prisoner Petras Cidzikas and the leader of the Lithuanian Nationalsocialist Unity Union (LNSVS), Mindaugas Murza. They had come to support Mr. Lileikis. Policeman kept the order in the court room, so there were no incidents. [The following passage quotes what Lileikis is accused of and mentions that he was stripped of his US citizenship because he had concealed some biographical facts upon entry to the USA.]

The next court session will take place on Monday; documents from the hospital will be submitted then.

In a declaration distributed yesterday by Efraim Zuroff, leader of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, it was said that Lileikis had declared he considered himself a Lithuanian patriot. According to the release, it was important for the Lithuanian officials to sentence such „patriots“ according to the law, and this was related to the Lithuanian hope in the integration process into a democratic Europe. - - -

.. [Mrs. Konas arrived only after the 30 minutes‘ break; S.D.]

From Vilnius: SLW for

Mirror of Lithuanian Press


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