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Lithuania Voids Pardon of Alleged War Criminal

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The Lithuanian Supreme Court has annulled a 1991 pardon granted to an alleged war criminal.

Petras Kriksciunas was accused by the Soviet authorities of killing Jews in Vilnius, Lithuania, during World War II.

Some 50,000 Lithuanians who were convicted as war criminals by Soviet courts were exonerated by the Baltic nation after it gained independence in 1991. Among those pardoned were people who allegedly helped the Nazis kill Jews.

Holocaust survivors, American Jewish leaders and the Lithuanian Jewish community have called upon the Lithuanian government to reverse the pardons.

The decision to annul the pardon granted to Kriksciunas, who died in 1993, came just days before this week’s annual commemoration of Holocaust victims, which Lithuania observed Tuesday, Sept. 23 — the 54th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilnius ghetto.

There are 16 incomplete annulment cases before the Supreme Court.

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