Lietuva in brief - 2008-03-05

  • 2008-03-05
A draft law banning abortion due to be debated in Parliament's spring session sparked outrage among the country's pro-choice community. They informed the European Parliament and international women's organizations about the draft, which was initiated by the leader of the Polish Electoral Action, Valdemar Tomasevskis. Reaction was immediate. On March 3, a protest near Lithuania's Embassy in Brussels was organized, attracting MEPs, employees of Emile Vanderveld Institute, representatives of the Belgian socialist party and Women's Socialist Movement. MP Marija Ausrine Pavilioniene, one of the most committed opponents of the ban, noted that the initiative in Brussels shows moral support to the opponents of the "quest to crush the will of women."

The Siauliai regional court pronounced life-imprisonment sentence for Alma Bruzaite (former Jonaitiene), 34, a mother who killed two of her five children. Tomas, 8, and Mantas, 12, were killed on March 20, 2007. Bruzaite admitted her guilt only after her arrest, which followed the discovery of evidence of her extramarital love affairs. Bruzaite is the first Lithuanian woman to be imprisoned for life. He lawyer confirmed that he will appeal the sentence.

During his visit to Israel, Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas received a protest over an investigation into Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad's involvement in the wartime killing of Lithuanian civilians. Arad, 81, a former long-term chairman of Israel's national Holocaust museum, became a suspect after the release of his memoirs in U.S.A., where he allegedly admitted the killings. Lithuanian special investigations' prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius told Delfi that it might be useful to Arad to come to Lithuania for interrogations. The investigation has continued for two years.

A commission suspended the investigation into the mysterious death of Lithuanian security officer Vytautas Pociunas in Belarus in August 2006. Pociunas died after a fall from his hotel room window in Brest, where he was staying on business. The Lithuanian prosecution service had closed the case, declaring that officer's death was accidental.