A Lithuanian court judge has denied the 170 plus Jewish plaintiffs a request to delay a hearing in Vilnius scheduled for Monday 19 April 2021. The 170 plus Lithuanian descendents were seeking to postpone the hearing so that they could attend proceedings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Lithuania and lockdown restrictions the plaintiffs have been unable to travel to Vilnius where they hoped to attend the hearing.
The legal action which has been in Lithuanian courts for more than three years, is trying to stop Turto bankos, a state owned company from building a conference center on the Shnipishok Jewish cemetery. This is the location where the legendary Vilna Gaon was initially buried.
The case reference is (lith. Dėl uždraudimo atlikti veiksmus sukeliančius realią žalos padarymo grėsmę ateityje) Nr. e2-625-918/2020 in the District Court of Vilnius City.
Alternative proposals which would significantly enhance the area and provide the Shnipishok with a major facelift have until now been rejected. The alternative blueprint for the cemetery that was discarded by local authorities, could have attracted an estimated 100 million Euros per annum.
Over 55 Jewish organizations and human rights groups have rallied to oppose the Turto bankos initiative, based on the fact that it violates Jewish law and human rights considerations.