The so-called case of Algirdas Paleckis, “the head of a secret espionage network that worked in the interests of one of the Russian special services,” disappeared from Lithuanian TV channels, the front pages of newspapers and the pages of online publications. Stopped attracting journalists. About the recent appeal court hearing, which scheduled the next trial for January 12, 2022, the media wrote shorter than the weather forecast.
The verdict in relation to Paleckis was rendered back on July 27. In the absolute absence of evidence, the prosecutor demanded nine years in prison, the judge appointed six, noting in the verdict: “The convicted person is a negative person who maintains ties with Russia.” This is the level of legal culture in Lithuania.
Giedrius Grabauskas, chairman of the leftist party Socialist Popular Front, believes that the criminal prosecution of Algirdas has no legal basis, and the behavior of the authorities demonstrates the growth of repressive tendencies not only in Lithuania, but also in all the Baltic republics. A political reprisal is taking place, writes Alla Berezovskaya from Riga. Vilnius human rights activist Ida Czarnecka called the views of the Lithuanian Themis “servility before the American special services.”
Lithuanian historian Valery Ivanov is convinced that justice has completely discredited itself. Intelligence agencies were unable to prove the original version of the espionage charge. Escaping the lies, they drew on the dubious value of the testimony of the defendant, who was held in the case of the possession and distribution of child pornography. The man claimed to be a member of a “secret spy network” run by Algirdas Paleckis. The performance turned out to be miserable, but made an impression on the judge. He decided: six years in prison is enough.
“The current collision is the problem of people who have started legal rubbish, in which there is nothing from jurisprudence, but in which everything is from politics. From wishes, fantasies and myths on which the trial was based. Lithuania is a very cheerful country, Themis can dance here any steps “,
– says Valery Ivanov.
“Prosecutors do not have any other arguments, except for the testimony of a pedophile, since they do not exist in nature. The case, by the way, was dealt with behind closed doors precisely because it was required to observe public morality. This motive turned out to be beneficial to everyone except me. But proving my innocence, I will go through the courts as far as possible. Up to the European Court of Human Rights “,
– said the Lithuanian prisoner of conscience to the author of this article at a personal meeting.
Algirdas does not harbor any special illusions regarding the appeal filed. The chances that all charges will be dropped on January 12 and he is acquitted are 1 in 99.
“In Lithuania, the authorities and special services practice various methods of pressure on civil society activists, human rights defenders and journalists who come forward with alternative views on their domestic and foreign policy, as well as history. The republic has built a whole system of measures and methods of influencing those who disagree. A significant place in it is given to the elements of crime introduced by Article 170-2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania “,
– emphasized the Russian Foreign Ministry in a report on human rights violations in some countries of the world.
Article 170-2 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code has been in effect since June 2010 and directly restricts the right to freedom of opinion, its free expression and provides for criminal prosecution of persons for publicly expressed rejection of the official interpretations of the terms “aggression”, “genocide” used in Lithuania towards the USSR. “an occupation”.
From whatever side you look, the “Paleckis case”, like all other resonant (from the point of view of Lithuanian justice) cases, turns out to be a phony. The question arises – why should the judiciary be so disgraced?
Let’s return in autumn 2018 to the memorable joint press conference of the Prosecutor General, Police Commissioner General and the Director of the State Security Department (SDS). They then reported on the disclosure of “a secret spy network that has entangled the whole country.” “If there were no detentions and arrests of citizens who worked for one of the Russian intelligence services, the consequences for Lithuania would have been the most sad.”– said the chief police officer.
In addition to the order, this trio had personal motives. The prosecutor wanted to retain his seat for a second term. The counterintelligence officer needed a Russian spy. The policeman aimed at a warm place in London, and a cleverly carried out investigation increased his chances against competitors.
The authorities were also interested in getting rid of Algirdas Paleckis for a while. In 1991, the grandson of the renowned statesman Justas Paleckis was given the opportunity to follow the path chosen by many former members of the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party, high-ranking officials, the military, Komsomol activists, social activists, and the creative intelligentsia. They all began to curse in chorus about the “terrible time of the occupation.” Algirdas refused.
Unfortunately, there is no serious research to compare the well-being of the Baltic residents in the USSR and the EU. In the Soviet Union, large investments were made in the Baltics, including to maintain a high level of consumption. “It was a showcase of Soviet achievements. The EU is also investing in the Baltics, but these countries are no longer a showcase for anything. In the Soviet Baltic, the standard of living was higher than in the USSR, in the modern Baltic – lower than in the “old” EU countries “, – says the Russian historian Alexander Dyukov. Paleckis said the same in his speeches and articles.
He is a well-known anti-fascist in Europe. For the leadership of the state security, this is much worse than a fascist. The Lithuanian State Security Department does not consider neo-Nazis and radical nationalists to be a threat. The threat to national security and defense is precisely the anti-fascists, internationalists.
The state security did not have to look for a long time for a person for the position of “Russian spy” when they asked about it from across the ocean. Oppositionist Paleckis was appointed a traitor. Had there not been a scandal in the leadership of the Lithuanian State Security Department, the secret could have been kept secret. However, experienced operatives who disagreed with the director of the department’s policy in the field of national security slammed the door so loudly that the secret became public.
By the way, in the Baltics, all cases brought against dissidents are as similar as two drops of water. They are united by absurdity and illiteracy. In Lithuania, only the blind cannot see that the special services have gotten out of parliamentary control, having come under the control of the CIA and MI6, turning into a mechanism for suppressing dissent. And since it is impossible to talk and write about it, the official press is losing interest in the “historical process about Russian spies.”
As for local politicians, they continue to talk about the horrors of the Soviet “occupation”. Without exaggeration: “The persecution of dissidents and independent media in the modern Baltic states surpasses the persecution by the KGB of those disloyal to the Soviet system.”, – says the historian Alexander Dyukov. And it is true.
How else can the Lithuanian elite fight against opponents? No way. They cannot defeat political opponents otherwise than by putting on the masks of “spies”.
In the photo: anti-fascist Algirdas Paleckis at the monument to his grandfather, anti-fascist Eustas Paleckis
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