The Vilnius District Court dismissed the civil case against former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on his responsibility for the storming of the TV tower in January 1991 (the “January 13 Case”) due to the defendant’s death.
It is reported by “European truth” with reference to Delfi.
“The lawsuit was filed against a specific person, the former president of the Soviet Union, after his death succession is impossible,” Aurim Zukauskas, a spokesman for the Vilnius District Court, said on Thursday.
The article of the Civil Procedure Code of Lithuania, which provides for the possibility of succession, states that in cases where one of the parties to legal relations proceeds from the case (one of such reasons is the death of an individual), the court replaces this party with the assignee of its rights, except in cases where the transfer of material right is not possible.
On the night of January 13, 1991, during the assault by Soviet military units of the Vilnius TV tower and the building of the Radio and Television Committee, 14 people were killed.
Lithuanian Defense Minister: Gorbachev was a criminal
Relatives of those killed in the January 1991 events in Lithuania sought Gorbachev’s responsibility for his death. Four of them this year filed a civil lawsuit against the former president of the USSR.
They sought to prove that Gorbachev, who at that time was the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the USSR, had control over the army, but did not take measures to prevent aggression in Lithuania and thus did not stop the execution of an international crime.
In May, the Vilnius City District Court sent the documents of this lawsuit to the Russian Foreign Ministry for transfer to Gorbachev. The prosecutor’s office, which investigated the “January 13th case,” refused to verify Mr. Gorbachev’s responsibility and question him.
Gorbachev died on August 30 at the age of 92 as a result of a serious illness. He was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. In the West, he is remembered as a person who contributed to the warming of relations between the USSR and the USA, and the initiated democratic reforms are considered to be his merit.
However, he did not make a more drastic modernization of the stagnant state economy and maintained strict control over the political system, and in Lithuania he will be remembered as the one who suppressed the country’s aspirations for independence by force.