Algirdas Paleckis, accused of spying for Russia, appeals to the country and the world

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Algirdas Paleckis, accused of spying for Russia, appeals to the country and the world
Algirdas Paleckis, accused of spying for Russia, appeals to the country and the world
9 June, 17:20In the worldPhoto: Из архива Альгирдаса Палецкиса
Lithuanian opposition publicist Algirdas Paleckis wants to be imprisoned for 9 years on charges of espionage for Russia. Algirdas asked the Russian media to circulate his open appeal.

Dear friends in Russia and other countries!

I often think of you. I'm glad there are many of you. That mentally we are together.

Below is a translation of my article. It is the whole essence of the "criminal" case. I wrote this article for the Lithuanian press and context, but I hope it does not require additional comments.

In the meantime, we are waiting with a lawyer for the opportunity to deliver closing speeches in court at the end of June. Then, at the end of July, the trial court will announce its decision.

The mood is cheerful. Hello everyone!

Photo:Из архива Альгирдаса Палецкиса

Algirdas Paleckis

I agree to another 9 years in prison - but on one condition

Yes, I am writing these lines as an interested person - and I do not hide it. Who wants to go back to prison for another 9 years? This punishment was demanded by the prosecutor at a recent court session.

However, there is also a more significant public interest in this case. Interest to push the curtain of secrecy, which the prosecutor's office has lowered. People want to know why I "spied on" this? What are the facts? From the very beginning of the trial, the prosecutor's office demanded that secret hearings be held. The court only partially satisfied this requirement. On the other hand, the prosecutor's office itself has officially recognized that there are no state secrets in my "case". None. Then why such a craving for secrecy?

To understand its reasons, let's return to December 19, 2018. On that day, Lithuania was shocked by the news: a network of Russian spies was operating in the country! This was reported by the heads of three power structures at once - the prosecutor's office, the state security and the police. At a joint press conference.

By the way, how often have there been such joint performances of security officials before? I don’t remember anything. So their message must have sounded sensational ...

And they talked about the "mass of evidence found." About the threat that looms over all respectable citizens. And about me - at the epicenter of a spy network.

As soon as they started their investigation, these figures in some mysterious way already knew that I was a "spy." And they announced it publicly. Thereby clearly violating the presumption of innocence. And, putting pressure on the future judgment.

Soon, the prosecutor's office supplemented the accusation by the fact that I had allegedly collected and transmitted to Russia data on Lithuanian officials who were investigating the events of Vilnius in 1991 (the capture of the TV tower). According to the prosecutor's office, I also collected information about the state of health of a former Soviet soldier, a participant in these events, Yuri Mel, who is imprisoned in a Lithuanian prison. Moreover, I also "planned to take a hostage" - a well-known Lithuanian politician, now an observer Audrius Butkevicius ... (True, the last accusation quickly disappeared.)

For 528 days, i.e. for a year and a half, even before any trial, locked in a solitary confinement cell, like a monk, communicating only with books and writing my own (I will publish it soon), I kept waiting - when will the promised mass evidence be presented to me? And named: data "spied" by me. Where are they?

In the end, I was presented with the following final charge: “I was spying on the instructions of ... an unidentified Russian intelligence officer. ... Planned to collect the data mentioned above. And he entrusted their collection ... to an unidentified person. " Believe it or not, that's what the accusation says! I think it's time to supplement the Criminal Code with a new article - "Intention to spy on the instructions of an unidentified foreign intelligence officer." The punishment is like for real espionage: from 3 to 15 years in prison. On average, those same 9 years.

Then I waited for specific information about the "Russian spy network". Waited for a long time. I'm still waiting. Maybe you heard something?

The police raided a dozen of my friends. Suspecting them as members of the "spy network". But no evidence was found. Otherwise, it would have been presented to the public long ago. Well, surely?

True, besides me, there was still another "networker". He even "confessed" that he was spying. For such a timely "confession" the prosecutor at the last court session kindly asked the court to release him from criminal liability.

However, here's the catch: in my "case" I discovered a document stating that shortly before my arrest, the police detained this person for downloading photographs with child pornography from the Internet. As you know, under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, for such an act, a prison term of up to 4 years is threatened. The man did not want to go to jail, and I understand him.

Therefore, he began to slander me. And actively cooperate with the special services. At the court hearings, he did not hide the fact that he became an employee of the state security bodies. From his "testimony" and glued together the accusation against me.

Now, I think, even to my enemies it is clear why the prosecutor's office insisted on closed hearings. And why she demanded to return me to prison for another 9 years.

In this case, as they say, all ends in water. Only in this way can the procurator somehow "justify" my past one and a half year imprisonment before any trial. A. Paleckis is guilty - what do you want? What other questions can there be?

But one question was and will be. Such a simple one. The Penal Code is sometimes seen as a benchmark for writing style. Because it is precise and concise. Its 119th article is just that: the one who collected data for foreign intelligence was engaged in espionage. The key word here is “collected”.

But the prosecutor’s office never presented to anyone what I “gathered” about the officials who investigated the Vilnius events, or about the prisoner J. Mel.

Obviously, she thinks that there is nothing to bother with me - enough abstract accusations. But maybe, at least the public has a right to know why they want to return a citizen of Lithuania to prison for 9 years?

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