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More Accused In ‘68 Soviet Invasion

Five more former top Communists were indicted on treason charges for their roles in the 1968 Soviet-led invasion that crushed a reform movement, an official said Monday.

Indictments of the first five top-ranking former Communists, including party leader Milos Jakes, were announced last week.

Tomas Hornof, spokesman for the institute investigating crimes committed by the former Communists, on Monday said the other five were top-ranking police officials.

The first five were accused of trying to establish a new government which would issue a formal invitation to Warsaw Pact troops to end the Prague Spring reforms. The second five are suspected of “close cooperation with the occupation forces,” according to Pavel Bret, an institute official.

Treason is punishable by life imprisonment under Czech law.

Many of the leading Communists responsible for crushing the 1968 reforms are now dead.

The most well-known hard-line Communist of that era who is still alive, Vasil Bilak, is a Slovak. Under the law of now-independent Slovakia, he cannot be charged with treason, which is subject to a Slovak statute of limitations. Bilak is believed to be one of four officials who signed a letter inviting Warsaw Pact troops to Czechoslovakia.

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