Ms. Dobrovolska: Lithuania will take all measures to protect the judges and prosecutors of the 13 January case

Date

2021 04 07

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The Court of Appeal of Lithuania has announced a ruling in the 13 January case and Lithuania will continue to actively pursue international publicity of this issue and the establishment of the necessary mechanism to safeguard its citizens against politically motivated persecution of third countries.

“Lithuania will take all measures to protect its judges and prosecutors from a potential politically motivated persecution by Russia and will not tolerate the decisions of a foreign state if these run counter to the principles of justice and the democratic rule of law. It is an obligation of the entire Community to look for effective solutions to safeguard the EU citizens against the illegal detention of a person and potential extradition actions,” states Minister of Justice Ms. Dobrovolska.

Whereas in 2018 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation instigated criminal proceedings against the prosecutors who took part in the 13 January case and in April 2019 against the judges of Vilnius Regional Court who had been hearing the case, followed by a public announcement in late 2020 of allegations by default with respect to these judges and including them into the international list of wanted persons, Lithuania will take all measures to protect the judges of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania against potential unlawful acts by Russia.

Pursuant to the Minister, the proposals of the European Commission will allow establishing a cooperation and information exchange mechanism to ensure security of citizens of the entire Community.

The Minister, who attended the meeting of the EP Committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and on Foreign Affairs (AFET) held this month, heard the European Commission’s promise to propose, by the end of this year, a common approach regarding potentially unlawful or politically motivated extradition requests from third countries in the guidelines that have currently been at the preparation stage.

From the very first days of her term of office, the Minister of Justice has been reminding Europe that Lithuanian judges and prosecutors of the 13 January case are the judges and prosecutors of the entire Europe and has been intentionally seeking international publicity of this issue as well as rallying support. 

Ms. Dobrovolska raised the issue of the 13 January case at the meeting with the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and at the meeting of the EU Ministers of Justice held on 11 March. She has also asked Francisca Van Dunem, Minister of Justice of Portugal currently presiding over the Council of the EU, to pay adequate attention to this issue on the Council of the EU agenda. 

The representatives of Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and France have already expressed support for the initiatives of our country.