Viewing cable 05VILNIUS562
Title: COURT FINES EDITOR FOR DISSEMINATING ANTISEMITIC

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS5622005-05-31 13:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000562 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/OHI, EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2014 
TAGS: PHUM PREL SOCI LH
SUBJECT: COURT FINES EDITOR FOR DISSEMINATING ANTISEMITIC 
EDITORIALS 
 
REF: A. 04 VILNIUS 212 
 
     ¶B. 04 VILNIUS 256 
 
Classified By: political-economic officer Nancy Cohen 
for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 
 
¶1. (U) A Vilnius administrative court fined Rimvydas 
Valentukevicius, editor of the Russian-language edition of 
the "Respublika" newspaper, 1,000 litas ($360) on May 25 for 
publishing a series of anti-Semitic editorials in 2004.  The 
court held that, by publishing the editorials claiming that 
Jews and homosexuals "rule the world" (ref B), the paper 
violated administrative law prohibiting "dissemination of a 
publication that instigates national, racial, or religious 
discord."  On June 14, the court will take up the charges 
against the editor-in-chief and author of the editorials, 
Vitas Tomkus. 
 
¶2. (U) Simonas Alperavicius, President of the Lithuanian 
Jewish Community, told us that the prosecutor had discussed 
the amount of the fine with him in advance of the decision. 
Alperavicius recognized that the court could have imposed a 
fine of up to 6,000 litas ($2,180), but remarked that the 
amount of the fine was not important.  More important, he 
said, was that the court find Valentukevicius in violation of 
the law.  Alperavicius commented that Valentukevicius is "not 
a bad guy" and had simply followed Tomkus's orders. 
 
¶3. (C) Comment:  The court adjudicated the easier of the 
cases relating to the Tomkus articles, involving only 
dissemination of material and not instigation of hatred. 
It's reasonable to expect that the court will at least find 
that Tomkus violated the same law by disseminating the same 
articles.  It is less certain that they will find him guilty 
of instigating anti-Semitism.  The prosecution and 
adjudication of the cases appear to conform to Lithuanian 
legal norms, which go much further in proscribing "hate" 
speech than U.S. laws. 
 
¶4. (C) It takes little to trigger public anti-Semitic 
discourse in some of the grimier corners of Lithuanian 
society.  Nonetheless, because the court's ruling appears 
just but carries little penalty, we do not expect much outcry 
about this decision.  Neither do we rule out that Tomkus will 
try to reclaim the spotlight with a provocative response. 
Mull