The Supreme Court in Vilnius heard the case of Antanas Terleckas and Julius Sasnauskas on September 15-19, 1980. The judge was Ignotas; the councillors were |Mrs.J Burokevičienė and Vinča; the prosecutor was Bakučionis; Terleckas's defense attorney was Kudaba; Sasnauskas's attorney was Aperaitis.
None of the defendants' friends were allowed to come to the court proceedings, and the courtroom held only Chekists and persons with special invitations. For example, Vilnius University Communist Youth League Secretary Bagdonas and others.
On September 15 the indictment was read, charging Terleckas and Sasnauskas with duplicating and disseminating illegal publications and other similar charges, under Article 68, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Lithuanian SSR.
Terleckas pleaded not guilty. He denied all the charges brought against him and stated that prior to his interrogation he had not seen the document regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (The Memorandum of 45 Baits — Ed.).
Julius Sasnauskas admitted, among other things, writing many statements, signing the document regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, editing the publication Vytis (Knight [emblem of the Lithuanian state)).
On September 16 the witnesses were questioned:
|Mrs..| D. Sasnauskienė described her son as a decent and good young man who had suffered in school for his religious beliefs.
[Mrs.[ E. Terleckienė said she knew nothing about the material confiscated during the 1977 search.
J. Šerkšnas, a retired teacher, maintained that he did not remember anyone giving him a copy of Vytis and that he found the document on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in his jacket pocket.
[Mrs.| S. Petruškevičienė indicated that she had lent Terleckas an article on the situation of Lithuanian Catholics in Seinai (the article had been published in Vytis). Terleckas denied this testimony.
R. Mažukna stated that he had not signed the document on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
V. Bastys explained that he had spoken with someone about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the other party had apparently understood that Bastys agreed to sign the Memorandum of 45 Baits.
The judge read the transcript of the interrogation in which Bastys testified that at the press conference held for foreign journalists Terleckas had spoken about the occupation of Lithuania and Sasnauskas about the situation of believers in Lithuania.
Pečiulis testified that Terleckas had suggested that he listen to Vatican Radio and that Terleckas was opposed to the Soviet government.
Žiedūnas stated that Terleckas had suggested that he write an account of his life (Žiedūnas had been subjected to repression and was later rehabilitated).
Dr. V. Abraitis of Jurbarkas testified that Terleckas had come to him and asked him to leave [Mrs.] Paškauskienė alone and stop summoning her for psychiatric evaluations.
Father B. Laurinavičius argued that both defendants were completely innocent.
[Mrs.] A. Ragaišienė presented Terleckas with some flowers. The witness stated that she could not say anything about the press conference which took place at her home because she was doing housework at the time and had not heard what the guests said.
A. Tučkus (a student at Vilnius State University) greeted Terleckas and Sasnauskas as he entered the courtroom and stated he knew nothing about the defendants' activities.
The judge read the testimony of [Mrs.] Ona Poškienė, who did not appear at the trial, that Sasnauskas had brought her the Helsinki documents.
The testimony of Father Norkūnas was read, stating that Terleckas had brought him the document to sign, but he had not done so.
On September 17 additional witnesses were questioned.
Zhukovsky (from Riga) stated that he had signed the document on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Further, papers confiscated during searches were examined, as were the reports of experts. The judge indicated that Terleckas had not kept his pledge of 1977 to refrain from activities against the Soviet system.
On September 18:
Terleckas admitted he was partially guilty.
Sasnauskas pleaded guilty to publishing Vytis and made a critical assessment of his open letters.
Prosecutor Bakučionis reread the indictment and suggested that Terleckas be sentenced to six years in a strict regime labor camp and five years in exile, and Sasnauskas four years in labor camp and three in exile.
Attorney Kudaba stated that he fully believed that Terleckas would realize his guilt and asked that his sentence be reduced for the sake of his family.
Attorney Aperaitis spoke about reactionary clergymen, about the fact that Sasnauskas is young and has time to reform. He asked the court to reduce the sentence for health reasons. (Throughout the trial Attorney Aperaitis was very tactless. Furthermore, attorneys in political cases are security police collaborators).
On September 19:
In his final statement Terleckas pleaded guilty to not keeping his 1977 pledge. He promised to refrain from involvement in any activities when he returned.
Sasnauskas stated that, even though he has made mistakes, he has searched for truth all of his life and always wanted to help people. He and he alone was responsible for everything. Sasnauskas requested that the court make it .possible for him to study.
The defendants conducted anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda to undermine the Soviet government in Lithuania. They produced, duplicated, gathered, and distributed anti-Soviet publications, letters, and statements which reactionary organizations abroad used for their slanderous purposes. Although they only partly admitted their guilt, it has been fully proven that:
1. In November 1975 Terleckas wrote a letter to the State Security Committee of the USSR regarding his alleged persecution. In this letter he asserted that people in the USSR are persecuted for their political beliefs and confined to psychiatric hospitals. He circulated the letter.
2.In 1979 he presented a letter from [Mrs.] Paškauskienė to the Minister of Health Protection which insisted that people are committed to psychiatric hospitals and persecuted for their convictions. This was proven by the testimony of the hospital physicians and Bastys.
3. In 1979 they prepared, duplicated, distributed, and collected signatures for petitions to the USSR, the German Federal Republic, and other organizations in which they maintained that Lithuania's entry into the USSR was an occupation. Sasnauskas duplicated and distributed this document in Lithuanian, while Terleckas prepared this document in Russian. This was proven by the typewriter and the carbon paper found at Terleckas's residence and by the testimony of the witnesses Šerkšnas and Norkūnas.
4. Sasnauskas, together with Terleckas, prepared the contents of issue no. 1 of the publication Vyiis. Sasnauskas duplicated and distributed issue nos. 2 and 3 of Vyiis. There is no evidence that Terleckas was involved in the publication of issue nos. 2 and 3. Vyyis printed anti-Soviet articles such as: "Freedom Must Be Won,""The Memory of Father Gustaitis Is Being Desecrated in Lazdijai." The articles slander the Soviet government. This was proven by Sasnauskas's admission, material evidence, and the testimony of Serksnas and [Mrs.] Petruskevičienė.
5.In February 1979 Terleckas attended an illegal conference at [Mrs.] Ragaišienė's apartment, during which he presented slanderous information about the alleged occupation of Lithuania and ongoing persecutions. Sasnauskas prepared and distributed information regarding this conference. This was proven by the testimony of the witnesses Cherepanov and Bastys and a written account found in Sasnauskas's possession during the search.
6. The defendants prepared and distributed a written account of Ragaišis's trial proceedings. This was proven by handwritten and typewritten text found in the possession of both defendants during searches.
7. Terleckas submitted data and Sasnauskas prepared an article about the condition of the monument to Vytautas in Jurbarkas. This was proven by handwritten and typewritten texts found at Sasnauskas's residence during a search.
8. Sasnauskas prepared and duplicated protests regarding the arrest of Petkus and Terleckas. This was proven by expert testimony and documents found during a search.
9. Sasnauskas wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party regarding military service and respect for the dead, which slanders the Soviet government in Lithuania. It states that only those who bore arms against the Soviet government should be honored.
10.Until July 23, 1977, Terleckas distributed various anti-Soviet publications and articles, various issues of the publication he edited entitled Laisvės šauklys (Freedom's herald), issues of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, issues of Aušra (Dawn) (including that which contained the article "Wipe away the Tears"). The claim that this material belonged to Jokubynas and not to him is unfounded, for the articles contained notations in Terleckas's handwriting in a number of places.
The guilt of Antanas Terleckas and Julius Sasnauskas has been fully established. They have admitted partial guilt. They have pledged to refrain from anti-Soviet activities in the future. Sasnauskas is young, intends to study, and to undertake socially useful activities. His health is poor.
The sentences are to be as follows.
Terleckas — three years in a strict-regime labor camp and five years in exile.
Sasnauskas — one and one-half years in a strict-regime labor camp and five years in exile.
Separate ruling: to inform the rector of the University of Vilnius of first-year student A. Tučkus's improper conduct during the trial.