BRUSSELS – Europe’s highest human rights court has upheld the war crimes conviction of a Latvian man who was found guilty of ordering the killing of nine civilians while fighting for Soviet forces in Nazi-occupied Latvia in 1944.
In Monday’s ruling, the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights said its conventions were not violated by the conviction of Vasily Kononov, which was upheld by Latvia’s highest court in 2004.
It said Kononov’s Soviet commando unit killed nine unarmed Latvian villagers who were suspected of collaborating with Nazi Germany during World War II.
Latvia’s treatment of Kononov has outraged Moscow, which granted him Russian citizenship in 2000. On Monday, Russia’s government condemned the European ruling, but Latvia welcomed it.