On November 24, 1980, the circuit session of the Supreme Court of the Lithuanian SSR in Kaišiadorys began to try the case of Anastazas Janulis and Povilas Buzas. Even the closest relatives were not informed of the upcoming trial, for example, Buzas's wife, Janulis's sister, and others. Having heard, by chance, that [Miss] Ona Vitkauskaitė and [Miss] Genovaitė Navickaitė were to be tried in Vilnius on November 24, their relatives went to the Supreme Court there, only to discover that in one-half hour the trial of Janulis and Buzas would begin in Kaišiadorys.
The security police would not admit even close relatives, e.g. the sister-in-law of Buzas. After a long argument, the security police finally admitted Buzas's sister into the courtroom. In the meantime, all of the places in the courtroom had been occupied by security agents and other officials. Their "interest" in the trial was shown by the fact that many were observed to be carrying books and newspapers to read, while those who really wanted to observe the trial, e.g. Father Antanas Gražulis, Mrs. Buzas, and others, were left standing outside. They were not only driven from the corridors but were not allowed to remain in the first-floor lobby or by the doors outside. Everywhere about the courthouse, in the vestibule, and in the corridors, security agents from Vilnius, Prienai, and Kaišiadorys, together with the policemen called to their assistance, buzzed about.
It was not possible to learn the judge's name, but the prosecutor was Bakučionis and the assessor Bikulčius.
The trial started with the charge being read: Janulis and Buzas had reproduced and disseminated the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, Aušra (Dawn), Rūpintojėlis (The pensive Christ), and Lietuvių archyvas (Lithuanian archives).
The defendants were then examined.
Povilas Buzas said that he was compelled to get involved in the duplication of underground literature because of the restriction of believers' rights, persecutions, desecration of crosses, obligatory work on holy days, and the scarcity of religious literature. In addition, students are being persecuted for their religion in schools. His son was severely scolded by his homeroom teacher for serving at mass. The defendant emphasized that the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania writes the truth, although with accentuations, especially in regard to political questions.
Questioned as to where he had obtained a duplicating machine, he replied that he had purchased it from an unknown person. To the question, whether, given the chance, he would continue to reproduce the Chronicle, Povilas Buzas replied that he would not because his sight had become very poor.
Anastazas Janulis would not admit any guilt and refused to testify where he had obtained the publications and to whom he had given them. His Christian conscience would not allow him to do so. In the defendant's opinion, the publications distributed by him were not of a libelous nature since they contained nothing but the truth. Therefore, he had committed no crime. The judge asked him what he planned to in the future. The defendant resolutely replied, "First of all, I will serve my sentence, and, afterwards, I will continue the struggle, perhaps not in the same way, but I will fight on. Of course, that will depend on my health since I may never return from the camps."
The defendant explained that the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania helps in the struggle against the persecution of believers and the repression of their rights, and so it is very necessary. It is the Catholics' only means of self-defense.
During the second day of the trial, materials found in the possession of various individuals during searches, the conclusions of expert witnesses, etc., were examined.
Prosecutor Bakučionis quoted excerpts from the Chronicle and the other publications where, in his opinion, the Soviet government was maligned. According to him the greatest libel was the claim that in 1940 Lithuania was occupied and incorporated by force into the Soviet Union. 11 was also libel when the underground press blamed the Soviet government for the widespread alcoholism. The prosecutor asserted that both defendants committed an especially dangerous offense, that of trying to weaken the Soviet government in Lithuania. Therefore, Article 68 of the Criminal Code of the Lithuanian SSR applied to them. The prosecutor recommended seven years of strict-regime camp and five years of exile for Anastazas Janulis. For Povilas Buzas he recommended three years of strict-regime camp and two years of exile.
In his final statement Janulis said that the literature for which he was being charged had to be distributed. The only regrettable thing was that he was being punished for doing so because of the freedom of speech and of the press guaranteed by the Constitution. In reality, this freedom is only for government officials and atheists. The facts brought out in the underground publications were not libelous because they are true and obtained from reliable sources. The court is obliged to investigate these facts. The defendant mentioned that he knew from personal experience cases where believers' rights were infringed upon; for example, the people of the village of Miežionys erected a cement cross, but it was broken up and torn down. The people then erected it in the churchyard. After some time it disappeared and was found outside the city, broken up and thrown into a mud hole.
When the pastor of the parish of Kalviai died, officials confiscated the hearse and the faithful had to transport the priest's casket in the trunk of a small automobile with one end of the casket protruding.
Janulis further stated that questions are raised in the underground press which should even interest the state; for example, the widespread alcoholism, abortions, etc. The faithful have no means of mass communication, no television, radio, or press. The Chronicle raises questions regarding the persecution of believers. The occurrences mentioned earlier encouraged him to take on this difficult work of distributing underground literature. Moreover, the defendant formulated his resolve in the words of St. Ignatius: ". . . to give and not to measure the giving, to struggle and not notice the wounds, to labor and not seek rest, to sacrifice and not think about reward. Let the reward for this be the perfect accomplishment of Your holy and divine will."
On the third day Povilas Buzas delivered his closing remarks. He spoke very briefly, touching on the fact that presently in Lithuania there is no freedom of belief or of the press.
The verdict was handed down in the afternoon. Anastazas Janulis was sentenced to three and one-half years of strict-regime camp and Povilas Buzas to one and one-half years. The sentence was read with only a chosen few in attendance. Those who attempted to enter were noisily driven from the courthouse.
Following the trial, a small group of the faithful who had wanted to attend the trial went to the cathedral of Kaišiadorys accompanied by the defendants' relatives. Kneeling before the tomb of the nation's martyr Archbishop T. Matulionis, they prayed both for the defendants and for the enemies of the Church, and they thanked God that the Catholic Church in Lithuania had adorned itself with two new martyrs, who were offering up their penal servitude in Soviet prison camps for the freedom of the nation and of the Church.