VILNIUS, Lithuania – A Lithuanian prosecutor is demanding that the Soviet Union’s last defense minister is imprisoned for life for his role in a violent crackdown on the Baltic country’s independence move 27 years ago that left 14 people dead and hundreds injured.
Prosecutor Daiva Skorpuskaite Lisauskiene says 93-year-old Dmitri Yazov and 66 other defendants — all Soviet-era officials — in the trial that started in 2016, are guilty of crimes against humanity and other offenses related to the events of 1991.
All but three are believed to be in Russia, which has refused to hand them over. Those presents have pleaded not guilty.
Yazov who was not present, is said to be responsible for trying to thwart Lithuania’s independence — declared on March 11, 1991. A verdict is expected later this month.