Defendant, 91, Deemed Too Ill for Genocide Trial

From Associated Press

A court-appointed medical panel said Friday that a man accused of turning Jews over to a Nazi execution squad in Lithuania is too ill to stand trial on charges of genocide.

The panel was appointed after 91-year-old Kazys Gimzauskas failed to attend the opening of his trial this month. The court is not bound to accept the panel's assessment, and it was unclear when a final ruling would be made.

Lithuania does not allow trials in absentia when defendants are ill.

The panel's chief doctor said the assessment was based on several examinations that found Gimzauskas in poor health.

After becoming independent in 1991, Lithuania vowed to bring alleged Nazi-era war criminals to trial. The country's first Nazi war crimes trial was to have begun in September but has been postponed repeatedly because lawyers for defendant Aleksandras Lileikis claim he is too ill.

Lileikis was the head of the Vilnius security police during Germany's 1941-44 occupation and Gimzauskas was his deputy.

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