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Lithuania To Try Soviet-Era OMON Leaders In Absentia

Lithuania's Court of Appeals has ruled that two former commanders of the Soviet-era Interior Ministry police troops, known as OMON, must be tried in absentia.

The December 9 decision says the trial of Boleslav Makutynovich and Vladimir Razvodov will be held in absentia, since the two are residing in Russia.

Makutynovich and Razvodov have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The case relates to the killing of seven Lithuanian officers at Medininkai checkpoint along Lithuanian-Belarusian border in July 1991.

The Soviet government had sent in troops in January 1991 to suppress Lithuanian moves toward independence.

Fourteen people were killed in that violence and Soviet authorities left the additional troops, including Makutynovich and Razvodov, in Lithuania to maintain order.

Based on reporting by and Interfax