VILNIUS - President Valdas Adamkus took part in an emotional dawn commemoration ceremony on July 31 to mark the infamous Medininkai massacre of 1991.
Accompanied by Parliamen-tary 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.
Gunmen cut down the officers in the early hours of July 31, 1991, during the final days of the Russian occupation of the Baltics, before the independence of Lithuania was recognized. It is widely believed that the massacre was carried out by a Riga-based OMON paramilitary unit whose members are now living with impunity in Russia.
Russia has so far ignored Lithuanian requests for extradition of the suspects.
Adamkus said 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 reach criminals thought to be hiding in neighboring countries to the east.
"They are still using something that is not theirs 's freedom. Yet today we know the names of the killers, know what they did then, sixteen years ago at the 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.