Estonia to prosecute war criminals

  • 2008-09-02
  • In cooperation with BNS
TALLINN - The Estonian security police have filed a case against twosenior citizens over their role in the 1949 mass deportation of Estonians to Siberia.

The two defendants are accused of genocide and attacksagainst the civilian population, the Baltic News Service reported.

Vello Paltmann, 79, is a former senior operativecommissioner of the Hiiumaa department of the Interior Ministry of the Estonian SSR. Jaan Pahna, 84, is aformer operative commissioner in the same department.

The security police had previously identified high-profile Soviet WWIIveteran Arnold Meri, 89, and Jaan Pahna as suspects in the Hiiumaa episode ofthe mass deportations of 1949.

In all, more than 20,000 Estonian civilians were deported as part of the 1949 operation,codenamed "Priboi," including 261 people from Hiiumaa.