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Lithuania drops probe of ex-partisan

Lithuania’s prosecutor general dropped a war crimes inquiry of a World War II partisan.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor general said the 2-year-old investigation of Dr. Yitzhak Arad, the chairman emeritus of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, was dropped because of insufficient data. The probe interviewed 83 people.

The inquiry stemmed from the publication of memoirs recalling partisan activities against Nazis and their collaborators in wartime Lithuania – activities that Lithuanian law interpreted as tantamount to genocide.

It is unknown whether the inquiry of two other elderly former partisans, Rachel Margolis and Fania Brantsovsky, also will be dropped.

The incident in question was a Soviet-led ambush of Lithuanian collaborators in which 38 villagers were killed, including children and a pregnant woman.

Lithuania’s consul general in New York, Jonas Paslauskas, had acknowledged previously to JTA that negative publicity abroad had generated second thoughts on the inquiry by Lithuania’s highest officials, including President Valdas Adamkus.

Last month, Adamkus came out with a statement indicating that he would push to have the inquiry dropped.

 

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