Russia slams Strasbourg court for seeking to revise WWII results





Russia on Monday accused the European Court of Human Rights of going along with people who seek to rehabilitate Nazis by upholding Latvia's appeal in the case of a Soviet World War II veteran.

Vasily Kononov, 87, who led a group of resistance fighters against Nazi Germany in the Baltic state during World War II, was jailed by Latvia in 1998 after he was convicted of ordering the killing of nine villagers in 1944. He admitted to the killings, but said the dead were Nazi collaborators who were caught in crossfire.

Earlier on Monday, the upper chamber of the European Court of Human Rights upheld the appeal by Latvia against the court's 2008 ruling that the conviction of Kononov was illegal.

"The Grand Chamber of the Court in fact has fallen in line with those who strive to revise the results of World War II and rehabilitate the Nazis and their collaborators," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We consider the decision of the Grand Chamber... an attempt to put in doubt a range of key political and legal principles, formed on the basis of the results of the World War II and the post-war settlement in Europe," the statement said.

In an interview to RIA Novosti the veteran said he believes Latvia has deceived the Strasbourg court, by failing to submit all of the relevant documents.

"Latvia excluded a range of materials from the case. This is evidence from the country's state archives and witness statements," the veteran said.

He maintained that he did not kill civilians.

"Those civilians [of whose death Kononov is accused] were armed...They actively participated in killing partisans. They lured 12 people into a trap, shoot and burned them. The partisan tribunal investigated this case and found them guilty. They were sentenced to death," Kononov said....



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