Ričardas Čekutis, the ‘chief specialist’ at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center who was one of the leaders of last March’s neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius, and is also a leader of the ultranationalist ‘Lithuanian National Center’, denied that any of the LNC’s members who were arrested on 22 July had any involvement in the hoisting of Nazi flags on a hill overlooking central Vilnius on Hitler’s birthday on 20 April.
Speaking to Baltic News Service, Mr Čekutis confirmed that initially two of the Lithuanian National Center’s members were detained by police on Friday morning 22 July on suspicion of involvement in the April incident.
Police have confirmed to the press the arrest of a number of suspects, in an initiative widely praised after years of seeming inaction on investigation and apprehension of suspects in neo-Nazi crimes in the country.
It was reported that some of those questioned were also suspected of involvement in a smoke-bomb incident that disrupted the showing of an anti-fascist film in early May.
International bodies concerned with Holocaust Studies remain appalled that an organizer of a neo-Nazi march continues to hold office at the Genocide Center, which runs the Genocide Museum and Gruto parkas, both of which feature antisemitic exhibits and are notorious for minimizing or deleting altogether the Holocaust from history. On occasion, prestigious Western and foreign Jewish organizations, unaware of local circumstances, have taken part in events involving the Genocide Center thereby unwittingly conferring legitimacy on Holocaust Obfuscation, Double Genocide and far-right Baltic politics. In June of this year, however, Yad Vashem pulled out of a conference held in the Lithuanian Parliament of which the Genocide Center was a prime sponsor.