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Lithuania Revokes 22 Pardons

<i> From Reuters</i>

Twenty-two Lithuanians have been stripped of pardons for Soviet-era criminal convictions after Israel produced evidence that they may have helped kill Jews during World War II, officials said Tuesday.

About 50,000 people convicted of crimes against the Soviet state were officially rehabilitated in 1990 as Lithuania moved toward independence from the former Soviet Union.

Israel later submitted to Lithuanian authorities a list of about 100 people among those pardoned who it feared had taken part in the killing of Jews or otherwise collaborated with the Nazis.

Most of those pardoned were convicted by the Soviet regime of various crimes against the state, including fighting as partisans against the Red Army.

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Presidential advisor Julius Shmulkshtis said there were more cases pending.

He also said he was not sure if any of the 22 people were still living.

During the German occupation, about 95% of Lithuania’s prewar Jewish community of 220,000 was murdered, sometimes with local assistance.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which hunts Nazis around the world, said it had examined 5,000 of those pardoned and feared that there may be more Nazi collaborators.

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