Vasily Kononov: Partisans fought against “those who were armed by the Hitlerites, were under their command, took part in punitive operations and hunted for partisans".

The Prosecutor-General's Office of Latvia continues the investigation of former partisan Vasily Kononov, who is again accused of war crimes. Kononov's daughter Irina said today that the 78-year-old veteran is summoned to the prosecutor's office once every two days. She said that what prevents Kononov from doing it more frequently is his advanced age and also his state of health undermined by almost two years of prison. "Father's eyesight is poor and he needs an operation," Irina noted. The former partisan complains of pains in his legs, which were shot through during the war. Kononov was kept in custody from his arrest in August 1998 to April 25 of last year, when Latvia's Supreme Court revoked the sentence passed on him - 6 years of deprivation of freedom - by finding the charges levelled by the prosecutor's office insufficient. Kononov, as early as last December, brought before the investigators new witnesses from among former partisans and their relatives. They were questioned, but the repeat indictment does not carry their testimony. Kononov is of the view that the investigation is following the "old and false track", citing factually unconfirmed statements by false witnesses and refusing to define, as the Supreme Court requests, the true status of victims of the guerilla operation, RIA Novosti announces. Kononov, in an interview with the newspaper Respublika, emphasised that Soviet partisans "did not fight against random people, but those who were armed by the Hitlerites, were under their command, took part in punitive operations and hunted for partisans".