The trial of Father Leonas Mažeika's killers took place in Pakruojis during January 26-28, 1982. The trial was held in the cultural center hall which accommodated some three hundred people while the rest followed the trial proceedings via loudspeakers in an adjoining room.
The circuit session of the Supreme Court of the Lithuanian SSR was presided over by M. Ignotas. The people's count-, were (Mrs.) Kasiulienė and Smičius. The state prosecutors were were Lithuanian SSR Assistant Prosecutor B. Žeberskis; Šiauliai at torney (Miss) Kručaitė defended the accused Kazlauskas, Pakruojis attorney Mesonis defended (Mrs.) Baltramiejūnienė.
The defendants — Ona Baltramiejūnienė and Adolfas Kazlauskas — were accused at once of three offenses:
— Wounding Pamerneckas;
— Murdering Father Leonas Mažeika and Sister Teklė Martinaitytė on August 8, 1981;
— Robbing the Vilūnaitis store.
Defendant Adolfas Kazlauskas is 40 years of age, completed eight grades of school, has been on trial five times. Ona Baltramiejūnienė was born in 1947, taught at the Stačiūnai and Gačioniai Grammar Schools and took correspondence courses at the Šiauliai Pedagogical Institute, but was removed from the student roster for negligence. For a time, she worked as a Pioneer leader and director of a cultural center. She met Kazlauskas in 1978. She is charged with failing to notify the authorities of any of Kazlauskas' crimes
During the preliminary interrogation, Kazlauskas confessed to murdering Father Mažeika and related the circumstances surrounding the crime. During the second half of December 1981, Kazlauskas recanted the confession he had made during the preliminary investigation into lather Leonas Mažeika's murder. At the trial, he stated he had confessed to killing the priest during the interrogation because he was severely beaten by the militia; in order to obtain the necessary testimony the militia chief had allegedly even plied him with cognac and apples.
At the trial, Kazlauskas related that a Latvian named Ilmars had joined them. At the time Pamūšis Pastor Father Mažeika was killed, Ilmars and Baltramiejūnienė had gone somewhere. When Ilmars refused to leave them alone, Kazlauskas killed him and buried him in a drainage ditch; he asked permission to point out the spot. To convince the court of his statements, Kazlauskas confessed to two more crimes which were not included in the case. "I know that I will probably receive the death penalty. I killed Ilmars. I did not kill the pastor or his housekeeper," stated Adolfas Kazlauskas at the trial.
On the video tape shown at the trial (regarding the time and circumstances of the crime) Kazlauskas spoke with great animation as if drunk.
Several Pakruojis physicians who operated on Teklė Martinaitytė testified at the trial, but they had already managed to "forget" certain details. Several witnesses saw a man and a woman near the stream prior to Father Mažeika's murder, others saw them running. All of them recognized the woman from a photograph and in person, but not the man because they had seen him only from the back. Only witness Zenonas Markauskas maintained he met Kazlauskas and Baltramiejūnienė and learned a half hour later that the Pastor of Pamūšis had been killed. Ona Baltramiejūnienė confirmed that Kazlauskas had accompanied her; at the trial she placed the entire blame on Kazlauskas.
(Mrs.) Stanislova Motiejūnienė, Baltramiejūnienė's mother, stated that she was visited by Kazlauskas and another man who wore a black suit, but she became frightened and refused to let them stay the night and they both left.
The tendency to turn the case in the necessary direction was most palpable at the trial. When interrogating the witnesses, the judge phrased the questions in such a manner that they simply needed to confirm them. Some of the witnesses had already managed to "forget" certain details. The court ignored the Ilmars version, did not react to Motiejūnienė's story of Kazlauskas' visit along with another person, did not even ask who that man wearing a black suit had been. It completely ignored the question of why two people — Mažeika and Martinaitytė — had been killed . . .
Prosecutor Žaberskis began his indictment speech with the following words: "All the evils of the past have not yet been eliminated here . . .", although both defendants were products of Soviet upbringing. He placed the most severe blame on Kazlauskas and spoke somewhat more leniently about Baltramiejūnienė. The prosecutor admitted that were it not for Baltramiejūnienė's testimony, his position as prosecutor at this trial would have been somewhat more difficult, but he could now base his case on her testimony.
Prosecutor Žeberskis demanded the severest sentence — death by firing squad — for Kazlauskas. For Ona Baltramiejūnienė he demanded four years in labor camp and compulsory treatment for alcoholism.
In view of the prosecutor's favorable words regarding Baltramiejūnienė, her attorney Mesonis placed the entire guilt on Kazlauskas. Kazlauskas' attorney Kručaitė attempted to refute the prosecutor's charges. She stated: "The prosecutor has demanded the severest sentence for my client. The evidence is insufficient in Father Mažeika's murder . . . All the circumstances in the case have not been investigated. It is dangerous to sentence him to death when doubts exist in the case. The fact that he confessed during the preliminary interrogation is not sufficient proof. We must explain why he gave such testimony. He was given cognac..His version— about Ilmars demands an investigation. His alibi was not verified. A man cannot be identified by the way he walks."
At the trial, Kazlauskas asked to show that he does not limp, but the court refused.
In his last statement, Kazlauskas reiterated that he did not kill Father Leonas Mažeika, the Pastor of Pamūšis, or his housekeeper Teklė Martinaitytė. He blamed the government for the fact he was now a criminal. And he concluded with these words: "The decision is yours, Your Honor. Shoot me if you want, but I did not kill the priest!"
In her brief statement, Baltramiejūnienė promised to mend her ways. The people are convinced that someone used the criminals and committed this terrible crime. The physical evidence of the crime has already been destroyed. Thus, the trial did not reveal the truth about the killers of Father Leonas Mažeika and Teklė Martinaitytė. . . . and will not reveal it in the future.
In her article "Šunkeliais į bedugnę" ("Byways to the Abyss") printed in the February 20, 1982 issue of Valstiečių laikraštis (Farmers' Newspaper), correspondent (Mrs.) S. Mockuvienė attempted to inform the people about the murder and the sentences imposed on the killers. Unfortunately the correspondent used her article to sling mud at Western radio stations and especially Vatican Radio. This is the Soviet method of speaking and saying nothing. The Republic's newspaper Tiesa (Truth) maintained total silence on this tragic event.