VILNIUS, Lithuania — A Lithuanian court has sentenced a 67-year-old man to house arrest for publicly praising Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and the crimes of the Soviet Union against the Baltic nation.

The Vilnius District Court on Monday ordered Yuri Subotin to remain home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily for 14 months after being found guilty of breaking a law that criminalizes public support for crimes committed by the Soviet regime against Lithuania.

The court found that Subotin, a Lithuanian citizen of Russian origin, had posted several offensive online comments including one praising the deportations of Lithuanians into Siberia during the Soviet occupation of nearly 50 years.

Subotin pleaded not guilty and plans to appeal the verdict.

Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940-41 and from 1944 until independence in 1991.

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