The court accepts that the domestic authorities have

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The Court accepts that the domestic authorities have discretion to interpret the definition of genocide more broadly than that contained in 1948 Genocide Convention. However, such discretion does not permit domestic tribunals to convict persons accused under that broader definition retrospectively. The Court has already established that in 1953 political groups were 5
excluded from the definition of genocide under international law. It follows that the prosecutors were precluded from retroactively charging, and the domestic courts from retroactively convicting the applicant for the genocide of Lithuanian partisans, as members of a political group. In the light of the foregoing, the Court takes the view that the applicant’s conviction for genocidecould not have been foreseen at the time of the killings of the partisans.FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURTHolds, by nine votes to eight, that there has been a violation of Article 7 of the Convention;Holds, by nine votes to eight, that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicant;Holds by nine votes to eight that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three monthsthe following amounts:(i) EUR 10,072 (ten thousand and seventy-two euros) in respect of pecuniary damage;(ii) EUR 2,450 (two thousand four hundred and fifty euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant, in respect of costs and expenses;Judges Villiger (Liechtenstein), Power-Forde (U.K) ,Pinto de Albuquerque (Portugal), and Kūris (Lithuania), dissenting.The Lithuanian Supreme Court held that the actions committed by the applicant corresponded to the criminal act of genocide and that the relevant domestic law had been enacted to give effect tothe provisions of the Genocide Convention. In line with the domestic courts, we agree that the 1948 Convention does not mention social or political groups. It cannot therefore serve as a legal basis for a conviction in respect of the genocide of a purely political group per se. The crime of genocide prohibited by Article II of the 1948 Convention listed four specifically protected groups: national, ethnical, racial or religious.The domestic courts had regard to the fact that members of the targeted political group in the present case (the partisans) were, at the same time, members of a group that was protected under the 1948 Convention, namely, the national group. Whilst political groups were excluded from the1948 Convention, it would be excessively formalistic for this Court to view the partisans exclusively through the prism of a ‘political group’ and to end its analysis at that stage, without examining the assertion that those same persons were, simultaneously, members of other groups which are mentioned in Article II of the Convention. We will, therefore, consider the claim that the core objective of the extermination of the Lithuanian partisans – as a significant part of the nation – was the impact that their destruction would have on the survival of the national group or6
ethnic group as a whole. If so, then their killing would amount to a crime prohibited by Article II

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