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21 Mar, 2007 02:18

European court urged to give Soviet veteran priority

European court urged to give Soviet veteran priority

Russia is asking the European court of Human Rights to give priority consideration to an appeal by a Soviet WWII veteran, Vasily Kononov, who was found guilty of genocide and sentenced to 20 months in prison in 2004 by Latvia.

When the verdict was announced, the 84-year-old veteran had already spent almost two years in custody. Kononov applied to the Europe's human rights court in Strasbourg to clear his name almost three years ago.

Now Russia wants the case considered quickly because the veteran's health is deteriorating.

Latvia has attracted international attention by supporting SS veterans who fought for the Nazis against the Soviet army.