Lithuanian minister of defence: Belarus will answer for harbouring war criminals
14:06, — Politics
Juozas Olekas reminds about the citizens of Belarus suspected of killing civilians in 1991.
One of them is General Vladimir Uskhopchik, who hides in Belarus, Belsat TV reports.
A ceremony of lighting candles took place in the Lithuanian capital yesterday to commemorate the defenders of freedom near the radio and television committee building, the parliament and the TV tower. Soviet troops killed 13 and wounded almost 150 people during an attack on the Vilnius TV Centre on the night from January 12 to January 13, 1991.
“I think the authorities of all countries should understand: harbouring criminals doesn't add justice both for Lithuania and their country. I believe that justice will triumph and those harbouring criminals will have to answer for it,” Lithuanian minister of defence Juozas Olekas said yesterday.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office was reported last week to be finalising European arrest warrants for 79 persons. The suspects are the citizens of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, who held high positions in the Communist Party, the Ministry of Defence and security services in 1991.
General Vladimir Uskhopchik was the commander of the 107th Motor Rifle Division of the Soviet Army and the commander of the Vilnius garrison. He has been living in Belarus officially since 1991 and even was a deputy minister of defence. Official Minsk refuses to extradite him to Lithuania.