War Crime Trial in Lithuania Put Off Indefinitely

From Associated Press

A judge suspended indefinitely the trial of an alleged Nazi war criminal Monday, saying the accused is too sick to appear in court.

The judge said a doctors' report showed that Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, is suffering from serious coronary disease and will be unable to leave the hospital for several weeks.

Lileikis appeared briefly in court Thursday in a wheelchair but was rushed away in an ambulance after complaining of shortness of breath.

Lileikis, who lived in the United States for 40 years after World War II, is charged with genocide for allegedly turning over scores of Jews to a Nazi execution squad when he was chief of the security police in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, during the 1941-44 Nazi occupation.

The trial was to have begun in September but was postponed after doctors said Lileikis was too ill to come to court.

A medical panel appointed by the court to examine Lileikis at that time confirmed that he was in poor health but said he was capable of appearing in court.

The repeated delays in getting the trial underway have angered critics who claim that Lithuanian authorities have not pushed for a speedy trial, perhaps hoping Lileikis would die.

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