At the start of the hearing, judge Ainora Kornelija Macevičienė announced the names of the defendants. It turned out that three state-appointed lawyers had failed to appear in the courtroom.
“The defendants have been notified of the hearing via the Justice Ministry,” said the secretary.
The court ruled to establish the identity of defendant Genadiy Ivanov who claimed to have been born in Russia in 1951, was currently living in Vilnius and was sentenced for bribery in 2009. During the questioning of the defendant, one of the lawyers stood up to announce that his colleague was not feeling well. The hearing was adjourned.
The trial is one of the biggest trials in the history of Lithuania in terms of the size and the number of defendants. The trial includes nearly 500 victims and about 1,000 witnesses. The case materials consist of 709 volumes, including indictment of 13 volumes. The defendants will be represented by over 60 lawyers.
The 65 individuals charged in the trial face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
All of the defendants, with the exception of Russian citizens Genadiy Ivanov and Yuriy Mel, will probably stand trial in absentia. Ivanov’s identification papers were taken away by the authorities to make sure he does not flee the country. Mel is held in detention.
In 1999, six people were sentenced to jail terms for setting up anti-constitutional organizations and other crimes: Mykolas Burokevičius, Juozas Jarmalavičius, Juozas Kuolelis, Leon Bartoshevich, Stanislav Mitskevich and Jaroslav Prokopovich. Mitskevich has fled Lithuania.