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7 Jul, 2008 16:38

Trial of Estonian Red Army veteran put on hold

An Estonian court has suspended the trial of Arnold Meri, an 89-year-old Estonian Red Army veteran, charged with genocide after WW2, in order to allow doctors to conduct medical tests. The examination was requested by the defence.

Estonia accuses him of taking part in the deportation of hundreds of his countrymen to Siberia after the war.

Meri has acknowledged taking part in the deportations, but denies responsibility. The veteran claims that he was unable to control the abuses of the local authorities and withdrew from the process.

The trial began in May at the site of the alleged deportation – the western Estonian island of Hiiumaa.