Genocide investigations against Lithuanians proceed

  • 2002-12-05

The prosecutors of the Lithuanian prosecutor general's special investigations department has initiated legal proceedings against Lithuanians who have allegedly committed criminal acts during the World War II years.

The suspects, Stepas Kuprys, aged 91, and Zenonas Garsva, aged 90, are being accused of acts of genocide against Jews in Nazi-occupied Belarus during WW II and of killing prisoners of war under international protection, the prosecutor general's spokesperson said.

A similar criminal case has been brought before the court on a third person, Juozas Mazeika, who allegedly committed genocidal acts against Jews in Nazi-occupied Belarus.

Currently both criminal cases are under preliminary investigation.

The Prosecutor General's Office said it had received some documents from Lithuania's Genocide and Resistance Research Center, which prove that Kuprys and Garsva served in Nazi police service battalion during the years of Nazi occupation.

According to the available information, in the fall of 1941 Garsva and Kuprys perpetrated mass killings of civilians in Borisov, Berezina, Kleck, Sluck and other towns and villages of Nazi-occupied Belarus.

The unit where Kairys and Garsva were serving committed mass killings of Jews from a Minsk ghetto on Nov. 13, 1941. German and Latvian soldiers shot dead Jews in Tucinki village near Minsk where as many as 19,000 Jews lost their lives.

On Oct. 18, 1941, in the Belarusian village of Sergejevich the aforementioned unit killed 18 prisoners of war of the Soviet Army who were under international protection.

The Lithuanian prosecutor general's special investigations department took legal action after having conducted a thorough investigation of the archives and a search of other probative material.