Russian investigative committee examines dossiers of Latvian SS Legionnaires for implication in genocide

18.03.2020, Moscow.

Investigators will study the personal data of  Latvian SS Legion veterans, and they will check these people for involvement in crimes against peaceful Soviet citizens, said the official representative of the Russian Investigative Committee (IC) Svetlana Petrenko on March 17, RIA Novosti reports.

Petrenko noted that the list of Latvian SS Legion veterans presented in the historians’ report contains enough personal data to conduct search operations based on the records available to the investigation. “The Investigative Committee will study this list in detail, said the representative of the Investigative Committee.

She recalled that the Russian Investigative Committee is examining criminal cases of genocide during the Great Patriotic War and the rehabilitation of Nazism with regard to Latvian SS Legion veteran Visvaldis Lācis and a number of other persons whose names are listed in the historians’ report.

According to the representative of the IC, the agency is currently examining more than 50 individuals for involvement in Nazi crimes, among them there are Legionnaires of the Latvian SS Legion. A number of individuals named in the report were previously prosecuted by military tribunals during the 1940s and 1950s, which precludes their prosecution if evidence of their other crimes is not found, Petrenko said.

The report with the names of 96 veterans of the Latvian SS Legion, who are residents of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, and Latvia, was presented at the round table held by the Russia Today international television network on March 16. The Russian Foundation for Historical Memory and the Foundation for the Support and Development of Jewish Culture, Traditions, Education and Science prepared the report.

The report identifies a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Latvian SS Legion during the Great Patriotic War. Specifically, Latvian legionaries massacred the civilian population in the village of Zhestyanaya Gorka and the village of Chernoe (Novgorod region) in 1941-1943. Last year the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case on the fact of genocide in these localities.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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