Court hearing of Lithuanian war crimes suspect opens in Vilnius

  • 2000-11-16
VILNIUS (BNS) - The Vilnius regional court on Nov. 13 opened the trial on Kazys Gimzauskas, 92, who is accused of committing genocide during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania.

Gimzauskas will be tried in absentia due to health problems.

The court will rely solely on the archival material about events and on written statements received while witnesses were still alive.

The court decided to allow documents from the suspended trial of suspected Nazi war criminal Aleksandras Lileikis's, who recently died. Lileikis was a witness in the Gimzauskas case.

During the Nazi occupation Lileikis was Gimzauskas's commander at the Vilnius regional security police.

Prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius read the statement of indictment in which Gimzauskas is charged with assisting the implementation of the Jewish genocide.

According to the charges, from 1941 to 1944 Gimzauskas worked as the deputy chief of the Vilnius region security police. Gimzauskas was responsible for detention and arrests of Jews and those who helped them to escape arrest.

The names of five people whom he allegedly sent to death are mentioned in the indictment. Four of them where executed, one woman was sent to the concentration camp. All five were Jews.

The prosecution is of the opinion that there is enough evidence that Gimzauskas was actively helping to destroy Lithuanian Jews.

Criminal charges were brought against Gimzauskas on Nov. 19, 1997.