MOSCOW, December 14 (RAPSI) – Russian investigators brought charges against 3 Lithuanian judges with issuance of unjust ruling in a case over clashes in Vilnius in January 1991, the Investigative Committee’s spokesperson told RAPSI on Monday.

The charges were laid in absentia.

In late March, a panel of judges of the Vilnius District Court convicted and sentenced over 50 Russian citizens including those arrested in Lithuania as part of the case.

Russian investigators believe that the 1991 events resulting in the death of 13 civilians and injuring of more than 700 people occurred with the participation of Soviet servicemen who carried out their duties and acted for safety in accordance with the USSR legislation. 

Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990.

Moscow denounced the move as illegal and put an economic blockade on the country between April and late June 1990.

In January 1991, a series of unauthorized protests swept across Lithuania after which Soviet military forces entered the republic. On the night of January 13, Soviet armored vehicles and tanks rolled into the center of Vilnius. Soviet troops clashed with civilians at a local TV tower, leaving 14 dead and over 600 injured.

Security personnel later claimed that the clashes were a result of a provocation, and that the victims were killed by sharpshooters.