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Latvia wins Kononov's case at European Court of Human Rights

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 17.05.2010.Print version
Latvia has won the "Kononov vs. Latvia" case on appeal at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as the Cabinet of Ministers' representative at international human rights organizations, Inga Reine, told LETA.

The ECHR Grand Chamber, with 14 votes in favor and three votes against, ruled that Latvia had not violated Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prevents retrospective punishment for crimes.


The verdict handed down by the ECHR Grand Chamber cannot be appealed.


Vasily Kononov, who was convicted of crimes against humanity in Latvia in 2004, turned to the ECHR in 2004, claiming that several provisions in the European Convention of Human Rights were violated by Latvian courts. Kononov insists that he has been convicted of wrongdoing that was not classified as crime in either international or national laws at that time.


Nevertheless, the ECHR only asked the Latvian government to respond under the Convention's article 7.


The Criminal Cases Chamber of the Latvian Supreme Court on April 30, 2004 convicted Kononov of war crimes. According to the indictment, Kononov headed a Red partisan group that arrived in Mazie Bati village in Latgale in vengeance for the alleged betrayal of another partisan or partisan group to the Germans in 1944. Kononov was accused of burning the Krupniks family alive in their house. The victims were Mikhail and his nine-months-pregnant wife, Tekla, and Mikhail's mother, Veronika.


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