Adamkus: murderers will face 'day of reckoning'

  • 2007-07-31
  • By TBT staff and wire reports

DAWN DUTY: Adamkus lays a wreath at the site of the 1991 massacre (Photo: Fotobankas)

MEDININKAI - President Valdas Adamkus spoke in emotional terms July 31 at a dawn commemoration ceremony to mark the infamous Medininkai massacre of 1991.

Accompanied by Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Muntianas and Interior Minister Raimondas Sukys, the president laid a wreath on the spot where seven customs and police officers were murdered sixteen years ago. Relatives of the deceased were also in attendance.

Adamkus he believes that the perpetrators of the massacre in Medininkai will live "till the day of reckoning comes" and expressed regret that Lithuania's justice and retribution system cannot yet extend to the criminals thought to be hiding in neighboring countries to the east.

"They are still using something that is not theirs - freedom. Yet today we know the names of the killers, know what they did then - sixteen years ago in Medininkai post at the break of dawn, know where they live now," the president said.

He warned that a "day of reckoning" will arrive for them and that Lithuania will never forget its debt of justice.

In early hours of July 31 1991, gunmen cut down customs officers Antanas Musteikis and Stanislovas Orlavicius, Aras officers Algimantas Juozakas and Mindaugas Balavakas and police officers Juozas Janonis and Algirdas Kazlauskas.

Police officer Ricardas Rabavicius died in hospital of serious injuries on Aug. 2 leaving customs officer Tomas Sernas the only survivor. He was also in attendance at the ceremony, despite being confined to a wheelchair

It is widely believed that the massacre was carried out by a Riga-based OMON paramilitary unit in the final days of the Russian occupation of the Baltics, before the independence of Lithuania was recognised. The motto of OMON units was 's and remains 's "We know no mercy and do not ask for any."

The suspects have not been punished so far, as they are in hiding in Russia, and the authorities have ignored Lithuanian requests for their extradition.