CHECHEN FORCES REGAIN GROUND IN BATTLE FOR GROZNY.
Heavy street fighting
continued in Grozny on 2 January, Western agencies reported; Chechen forces
succeeded in retaining control of the presidential palace and forced Russian
troops out of the city center, after which Russian forces resumed their aerial
bombardment of residential districts. The Russian government press center
conceded that Chechen fighters had destroyed "several dozen" Russian armed
vehicles, and that Russian forces were "regrouping;" it described the situation
as "very tense." Speaking on local television in the late evening of 2 January,
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev said that the storming of Grozny had been "a
catastrophe" for the Russians, and that several hundred Russian soldiers and
officers had been captured. He again called for negotiations on a cease-fire
and the peaceful withdrawal of Russian troops. Speaking at a press conference
in Moscow on 2 January, members of the Russia's Choice faction in the State
Duma who were in Grozny at the time of the Russian incursion on 31 December
charged that a "full-scale war" was in progress in which "hundreds of military
servicemen had been killed and tens of thousands of civilians made homeless,"
according to Interfax of 2 January. They demanded the resignation of Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev and Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Egorov, whom they hold
responsible for massive human rights violations in Chechnya, AFP reported.
Russian military spokesman rejected this estimate of Russian losses as "grossly
exaggerated." In another development, the Russian government press service
claimed on January 1-2 that the Chechens were using crude chemical weapons
against Russian troops and that there had been casualties, ITAR-TASS reported.
* Liz Fuller and Doug Clarke
RYBKIN ON CHECHNYA.
In an interview with ITAR-TASS on 2 January, State
Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin, who endorsed the Russian intervention in Chechnya
shortly after it began, called on Russian forces to stop fighting and Chechen
fighters to lay down their arms and begin talks. Rybkin rejected deputies'
calls for a special session on the conflict, stating that questions of war and
peace fell under the jurisdiction not of the Duma but of the upper house, the
Federation Council. He also said he would urge the Security Council, of which
he is a member, to take "political measures" to resolve the crisis. * Penny
FRANCE, GERMANY ADVOCATE OSCE INVOLVEMENT IN CHECHNYA.
In an interview
given to Deutschlandfunk on 2 January, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel
said that he had asked his Russian counterpart Andrei Kozyrev to consider
asking the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to send
observers to Chechnya; the French Foreign Ministry likewise advocated OSCE
mediation in an attempt to achieve a peaceful settlement, according to AFP.
Also on 2 January, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry expressed
concern over human rights violations in Chechnya, and said that Germany had
protested to Russia that the principle of using only means commensurate with
the situation was not being observed. * Liz Fuller
UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON CHECHNYA.
On 2 January UNIAN reported that
the Ukrainian foreign minister, Henadii Udovenko, condemned the losss of life
on both sides in Chechnya in an interview. However, he added that events in
Chechnya should not affect Russian-Ukrainian relations and that Kiev treats the
conflict in Chechnya as a Russian internal affair. In recent days the Ukrainian
Red Cross and other Ukrainian groups have issued statements condemning Russia's
policy towards Chechnya. * Ustina Markus
DEFENSE BUDGET FAILS TO MEET EVEN MINIMUM NEEDS.
Col. Gen. Vasily
Vorobyev, chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Directorate of Military
Budget and Finance, told Interfax on 1 January that the proposed military
budget of 44 trillion rubles for 1995 fails to meet even the minimum needs of
the Russian military. He said that the government still had not paid 13
trillion rubles from the 1994 budget, resulting in the defense ministry owing
defense enterprises 7.8 trillion rubles. Vorobyev reported that the ministry
had found ways to save 4 trillion rubles but had to spend all the money it
received on wages. As a result he said that oil refineries had practically
stopped supplying the military with fuel and many military airports had no more
aviation kerosene. In his view, reducing the number of people in the services
would not be the answer, since this would require additional funds and
aggravate social tension. * Doug Clarke
YELTSIN URGES REVISION OF CFE TREATY.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin is
stepping up the campaign for a revision of the 1990 Treaty on Conventional
Forces in Europe (CFE). Yeltsin wants to increase the number of Russian troops
stationed in the Caucasus, and has sent a letter to this effect to several NATO
countries, AFP of 30 December and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung of 31
December reported quoting a Western envoy to the CSCE. Germany opposes any
modification of the CFE treaty that would set a precedent , as do Turkey and
several other NATO members. * Liz Fuller
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY ON IRAQ.
In an interview given to Interfax on
30 December, Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Posuvalyuk said that France and
China are moving closer to Russia's position over Iraq. Russia has been arguing
that Iraq has been complying with resolution 687 on its disarmament since
October 1993, and thus the UN Security Council should consider lifting the oil
embargo against Baghdad. Posuvalyuk suggested that Iraq be given a six-month
test period and if it complied with the UN disarmament requirements during that
time the UN should consider lifting the oil embargo. Posuvalyuk also noted that
Iraq has made some positive moves in regards to recognizing Kuwait's
sovereignty and borders and the international community should respond to
these. * Ustina Markus
DRUG SMUGGLING INCREASES IN RUSSIA.
The deputy chief of the interior
ministry's department for combating drug smuggling, Nikolai Osipov, told
Interfax on 1 January that Russia has become a target of international drug
traffickers. According to Osipov, there were 75,000 drug trafficking crimes
last year, a 50% increase from the previous year. In addition, the quantity of
drugs being brought into Russia from outside the country increased by 47% last
year. Osipov singled out the Russian Far East and its border with Central Asia
as being particularly problematic and said that new measures would have to be
implemented to fight the growth in drug trafficking. * Ustina Markus
RUSSIA RENAMES BORDER SERVICE.
Russia has changed the name of its border
service from the Federal Border Service-Chief Border Troops Command of the
Russian Federation, to the Federal Border Service of the Russian Federation,
ITAR-TASS reported on 31 December. Under a presidential decree signed the day
before, the head of the border service is to be appointed by the president and
can be dismissed by him. Col. Gen. Andrei Nikolayev, who had been the
commander-in-chief of Russia's Border Troops, has been appointed director of
the new Federal Border Service. Nikolayev was born in 1949 and attended the
Moscow Higher Joint Forces Command College, the Frunze Military Academy, and
the General Staff Military Academy between 1971-1988. * Ustina Markus
MOSCOW'S MAYOR DENIES CHARGES ON FOOD IMPORTS.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov
claimed that Russian farmers are unable to meet the city's needs and this is
why Moscow must import food from abroad, Interfax reported on 30 December.
Luzhkov was responding to charges made by Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander
Zaveryukha, who alleged that Moscow "prefers to import products" and this
policy was forcing Russian farmers to slash their prices. Luzhkov said that
Moscow is attempting to conclude contracts for food with Russia's regions, but
the city will ultimately purchase food from whoever offers the cheapest rates.
Luzhkov also criticized Zaveryukha's initiative to impose taxes on imported
food. * Ustina Markus
OIL POLICY ENDANGERS FOREIGN LOANS.
Russian Economics Minister Evgenii
Yasin told Radio Rossii on 31 December that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
would soon decide on Russia's oil export policy. Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Davydov told ITAR-TASS last week that the much criticized system of export
quotas and licenses for oil products would be replaced by a system of
compulsory deliveries of 65% of output to domestic consumers; the number of
companies authorized to export oil would be reduced from 14 to 12. IMF and
World Bank officials, who are considering Russian requests for billions of
dollars in 1995, are unhappy about the proposals, arguing that continued export
restrictions would cut Russia's foreign income, hold down tax revenues, and
discourage foreign investment. Yasin, for his part, was quoted by The Daily
Telegraph on 30 December as saying that the economics ministry believes
"that fears that ending export quotas will lead to a shortage of oil in the
domestic market are insufficiently grounded and that a decision to liberalize
is absolutely essential." * Penny Morvant
INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT FALLS IN 1994.
GDP fell in Russia by 15% in 1994, and
industrial output was down 21% compared with a drop of 16% in 1993, according
to Russian Economics Ministry figures cited 1 January by Interfax; industrial
output is now less than 45% of the 1991 level. Light industry, machinery,
chemicals and pulp and paper sectors were among the worst hit. Overall capital
investments were only 39% of the 1991 level. Inflation reached 16.4% in
December but the annual rate was much lower than that in 1993: 320% as opposed
to 940. Government statistics also show a sharply widening gap between rich and
poor, with the top 10% earning 14 times the income of the poorest 10%. * Penny
MOSCOW STANDARD OF LIVING SAGS IN 1994.
On 1 January Interfax reported
on comments made by Konstantin Buravlev, deputy head of the Moscow government,
given the previous day at a Moscow government meeting. Buravlev reported that
living standards for Muscovites dropped in 1994, with prices increasing on
average by a factor of 5.3, and wages lagging behind, increasing only 4.5 fold.
He also said there were some 19,000 registered unemployed in Moscow during
December, with some 15,000 dependent on benefits; roughly 15% of the unemployed
are under the age of 30. * Stan Markotich
EVTUSHENKO RETURNS AWARD FROM YELTSIN.
Evgenii Evtushenko, probably the
most famous Russian poet of the 1960s, has returned his "Friendship of Peoples"
order to protest Russia's increasingly hard-line handling of Chechen crisis.
The order was awarded to the poet by Yeltsin on the occasion of Evtushenko's
60th birthday in 1994. In his statement, broadcast by RFE/RL on 1 January,
Evtushenko announced that he could not keep an award with such a name during
the bloody suppression of a small nation. * Julia Wishnevsky
KYRGYZ PROCURACY ISSUES WARNING TO UIGHUR IRREDENTIST ORGANIZATION.
Kyrgyz Procuracy has refused to register the Uighur Freedom Organization, the
stated aim of which is to detach the Xinjiang Autonomous region (largely
populated by Uighurs) from the People's Republic of China, ITAR-TASS reported
on 30 December. The leaders of the organization were warned by the procuracy
that their activities contravened Kyrgyz and international law. The Uighur
population of Kyrgyzstan is estimated at 40,000. * Liz Fuller
DIRECTOR OF LITHUANIAN RADIO AND TV RESIGNS.
Laimonas Tapinas announced
on 2 January that he would explain at a news conference on 4 January why he had
decided to resign as director of Lithuania's state-run Radio and Television
(RTV), BNS reports. Tapinas was appointed by the parliament on the
recommendation of the RTV board. During the past several years the board has
sought to become more independent from the government, but its status has
remained virtually unchanged. RTV is directly financed by the government with
24 million litai ($6 million) allocated for this year's budget. In 1994 RTV did
not receive about 12% of promised state support, but survived on funds earned
from commercials. * Saulius Girnius
Estonian Justice Minister Juri Adams said
that he believes that some Estonian laws related to the implementation of the
26 July agreements with Russia on the withdrawal of Russian troops and social
protection for miltary retirees can be amended only after parliament ratifies
the agreements, BNS reported on 2 January. Noting that "an international
agreement always takes precedence over national legislation," Adams said that
if the agreements are ratified problems could arise in selling apartments to
Russian military retirees and calculating their length of service for issuing
them privatization vouchers. The agreements allow Estonia to refuse a residency
permit to military retirees deemed to be a danger to Estonia's security, but do
not mention how and by whom the danger is to be established. * Saulius
AGREEMENT WITH LATVIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ASSOCIATION.
On 30 December
Prime Minister Maris Gailis and Local Governments Association (LGA) Chairman
Andris Jausleinis signed an agreement protocol for the year 1995, BNS reports.
The protocol provides that the government coordinate with the LGA all bills and
regulations dealing with local governments. It forecasts that the 1995 revenues
to local governments from land, income, and other taxes will be 152.3 million
lati ($277 million). * Saulius Girnius
POLISH PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1995 BUDGET.
Poland's leftist-dominated lower
house of parliament, the Sejm, on 30 December approved the 1995 state budget by
a vote of 299 to 140 with five abstentions, Polish and international agencies
reported. The budget projects economic growth of 5% and an annual inflation
rate of some 17%. Deputies had previously voted to remove key tax and wage
measures from the budget bill in a bid to prevent a veto by President Lech
Walesa. The tax provision would extend through 1995 higher income tax rates
adopted for 1994, while the wage measure would limit raises for public sector
workers to 6% above the projected annual inflation rate. Walesa vetoed the
measures when they were voted on separately, but the Sejm overturned both
vetoes. Walesa has since appealed to the Constitutional Court to make a ruling
in each case. The upper house of parliament (the Senate) will debate the 1995
budget this week. Walesa, whose approval is also required for the budget to
pass, has threatened to veto the entire budget bill. Polish commentators see
the latest clashes between Walesa and the government as initial skirmishes in
the campaign for the presidential elections, due to take place later this year.
* Jan Cleave
WALESA WANTS OLECHOWSKI TO STAY ON AS FOREIGN MINISTER.
Lech Walesa on 2 January said he wants Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski to
keep his post until presidential elections are held later this year, Polish and
international agencies reported. Olechowski tendered his resignation last week
for the second time in two months after Justice Minister and Prosecutor-General
Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, conducting an anti-corruption probe, named him as one
of 58 high-ranking officials who receive payment for sitting on the boards of
companies in which the government has a stake. Walesa, meeting with Premier
Waldemar Pawlak, also demanded that his candidate for defense minister be
appointed. Since Piotr Kolodziejczyk resigned from that post in November, the
president and the ruling left-wing coalition have been deadlocked over his
replacement. Walesa says his demands on the Defense and Foreign Ministries will
have to be met before he discusses a compromise on issues such as the 1995
state budget. Under the Polish Constitution, the president has a say in who is
appointed to the posts of defense, interior, and foreign ministers. But the
ruling coalition has argued that his role in those appointments should be
ceremonial only. * Jan Cleave
PRESS REPORTEDLY STIFLED IN BELARUS.
On 26 December Interfax reported
that the International Confederation of Journalist Unions had issued a
statement expressing concern over violations of freedom of speech in Belarus.
The statement criticized Belarusian censors, citing incidents of white spots in
newspapers where articles had been pulled by the censors. It also said that the
press was not giving people free access to information and was not free to
criticize authorities. The recent dismissal of Ihar Asinsky as editor-in-chief
of Sovetskaya Belarusiya was mentioned as an example of stifling the
press. The Confederation of Journalist Unions urged Belarusian authorities to
review their policy towards the press. * Ustina Markus
BELARUSIAN DEPUTIES PASS 1995 BUDGET.
The Belarusian parliament passed
the 1995 budget in its first reading on 30 December, Interfax reported. The
budget provides for a deficit of 2.647 trillion rubels, or 4% of GDP. The
budget also envisages a fall in monthly inflation to 1% by the end of the year,
and the GDP is to triple to 66.2 trillion rubels. * Ustina Markus
UKRAINE STEPS UP PRIVATIZATION CAMPAIGN.
Ukraine has begun distribution
of certificates in five central oblasts as part of a pilot privatization
project, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 3 January. Residents of Kiev,
Khmelnytsky, Zaporizhzhia, Zhytomyr and Kirovohrad regions will be able to
claim their certificates at local branches of the State Savings Bank and
exchange them for shares in some 8,000 large- and medium-sized enterprises,
scheduled to be completely transferred into private hands by 1 June.
Distribution of the U.S.-made certificates in the remaining regions is set to
begin on 1 February. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma also ordered
privatization of small enterprises to be completed by the end of the year,
ITAR-TASS reported. In a decree signed on 2 January, Kuchma directed that
revenue earned from small enterprise privatization be appropriated to local
authorities for social programs. * Chrystyna Lapychak
UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ISSUES ORDER ON SERVICE ABROAD.
defense minister Valerii Shmarov has issued an order on the selection of
servicemen who are to study and work abroad. According to the order, 2-3
candidates should be considered for each post; each candidate must be fluent in
Ukrainian and the appropriate foreign language, and have good references. The
order is meant to facilitate the implementation of military cooperation
agreements with a number of countries with which Ukraine has regular exchanges
of delegations and cooperates in the military-technical sphere. * Ustina
FORMER CZECH COMMUNIST LEADERS CHARGED FOR ARMING PARTY MILITIA.
former leading members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party have been charged
with illegally arming the party's private militia with weapons from the defence
ministry, Czech media reported. The seven include Milos Jakes and Lubomir
Strougal, party general secretary and Prime Minister respectively at the time
of the alleged crime in 1985, and could face up to five years in jail if
convicted. Rude Pravo reported on 3 January that the charges were filed
on 29 December, the last of the accused being informed just two hours before a
statute of limitations for such crimes came into effect. The "People's Militia"
was created after World War II as the "armed fist of the workers' movement."
Its up to 18,000 armed members took part in the communist takeover of power in
1948, later shows of strength and in the suppression of demonstrations after
the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. It was disbanded after the
"velvet revolution" of November 1989. * Steve Kettle
CZECHS NEGATIVE ABOUT INFLUX OF FOREIGNERS.
An opinion poll conducted by
MENT, Gabal, Analysis and Consulting indicates that more than three quarters of
Czechs view negatively the influx of foreigners who have decided to reside in
the Czech Republic. The results of the poll were published by Mlada Fronta
Dnes on 3 January. Only 16% of respondents thought that the influx of
foreigners was a positive development. According to the Czech Interior
Ministry, some 120,000 foreigners live legally in the country. However,
according to experts, the real number of foreigners, including illegal
immigrants, is much higher. The poll shows that Czechs are convinced that
foreigners are responsible for growing crime rates, often engaging in such
activities as money laundering, fraud, and mafia activities. * Jiri Pehe
SLOVAK CABINET'S MANIFESTO PAST DEADLINE?
On 2 January the Movement for
a Democratic Slovakia board met in Bratislava. In a short briefing, MDS Deputy
Chairman Augustin Marian Huska said the cabinet is expected to discuss its
program manifesto next week, and it will be sent to parliament on 19 January.
According to the constitution, however, a new government has 30 days from the
time of its appointment to pass its program and win a confidence vote from
parliament, and the current government was installed on 13 December. Concerning
President Michal Kovac's New Year's speech, Huska said his party would have
welcomed more "self-criticism" from the president, particularly in relation to
his role in the fall of the government of Vladimir Meciar in March,
Pravda reports. * Sharon Fisher
SLOVAK YEAR-END STATISTICS.
According to the latest statistics, Slovakia
has approximately 5,358,400 inhabitants. In 1994 68,400 children were born and
51,200 people died. A total of 85.7% of the country's inhabitants consider
themselves Slovaks, while 10.7% are Hungarians, 1.5% are Romanies,1% are
Czechs, Moravians or Silesians, 0.3% are Ruthenians, 0.3% are Ukrainians, 0.1%
are Poles and 0.1% are Germans. Another 0.3% belong to other ethnic groups or
did not declare their nationality, Sme reports on 3 January. There are
presently 9,845 civic associations, 70 political parties and movements and 76
organizations with international representation registered in Slovakia. *
HUNGARY DEVALUES FORINT, ANNOUNCES PLANS TO WITHDRAW COMMUNIST-ERA
The National Bank of Hungary has announced a further devaluation of
the national currency, Hungarian and international agencies report. As of 3
January, the forint will be devalued by 1.4%. In 1994, it was devalued by a
total of 16.8%. The bank has also announced that communist-era forint coins
will be withdrawn from circulation by 30 June. The bulky old money is to be
replaced by smaller, nickel coins, which have been in use since March 1993.
Tourists found the existence of two sets of forint coins confusing, and many
Hungarian residents complained bitterly about the dwindling numbers of old 5-
and 10-forint coins needed for public telephones. * Jan Cleave
CROATS JOIN BOSNIAN CEASEFIRE.
The BBC said on 2 January that Bosnian
Croat leader Kresimir Zubak signed the four-month truce agreement earlier
endorsed by the Serb and Bosnian government forces. Bihac pocket rebel leader
Fikret Abdic had given his verbal agreement as well, and now UN mediators are
concentrating their efforts on getting the Croatian Serb forces to sign on. The
Krajina Serbs are a major factor in the assault on government's Fifth Corps in
the Bihac area, and the government backed the truce largely to ease pressure on
that northwestern enclave. Meanwhile, international media report that the
ceasefire is largely holding. The main exceptions involve some isolated
fighting around Bihac and Sarajevo, where a missile hit the front of the
Holiday Inn, apparently fired from a Serb position. * Patrick Moore
SKEPTICISM REGARDING BOSNIAN TRUCE.
Newsday and the New York
Times on 3 January report on general skepticism regarding the latest
Bosnian ceasefire and the chances of its leading to a lasting political
settlement. Most diplomatic observers on the scene feel that the pact is merely
a tool for both sides to buy time until a favorable opportunity arises to
resume fighting. No moves appear to have taken place to implement provisions of
the agreement other than the ceasefire.Newsday notes, however, that the
Serbs welcome the possible stationing of UN troops as a buffer between them and
government forces. This would enable the Serbs to freeze control of their
conquests, much as the Vance plan did for them in Croatia at the start of 1992.
* Patrick Moore
HIGHWAYS, RAILWAYS, AND TANKS IN CROATIA.
Croatian media reported on 23
December that the highway between Zagreb and Lipovac was reopened that day. The
road can be used from 6am to 6pm under UNPROFOR supervision, and Vjesnik
on 30 December said that traffic has been increasing steadily, including
vehicles from Serb-held territories. President Franjo Tudjman and a host of
government and party officials from his Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ)
took a demonstrative trip to Osijek and Slavonski Brod on 27 December. He used
the visits to stress that the government is doing all it can to promote the
restoration of normal life despite continued Serb occupation of about one-third
of the country, and to bolster ties to the Osijek-area warlord, Branimir
Glavas. On another front, Vjesnik on 28 December also reported that the
20 day-old railway strike had been settled with a new compromise pay agreement.
Finally, the same paper the next day ran a story describing the characteristics
of Croatia's new "tank for the 21st century." It will be built in Slavonski
Brod's Djuro Djakovic factory and is a successor to the Yugoslav M-84 and
Soviet T-72. * Patrick Moore
MAIN ROMANIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN FORCED TO RESIGN.
Gabrielescu submitted his resignation from the position of Secretary General of
the main opposition party, the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic. A
press release of the NPPCD carried by Radio Bucharest on 29 December said
Gabrielescu, who is the chairman of a special senatorial commission
investigating the events of December 1989 that led to the overthrow of the
Ceausescu regime, had adopted a deferential position towards President Ion
Iliescu by praising his testimony before the commission earlier this month,
"which diametrically contradicts the position of the NPPCD." * Michael Shafir
STRICT WATER RATIONING IN SOFIA.
A new scheme of water rationing for
households in certain parts of Sofia took effect on 2 January, Bulgarian
Television reported. Water will be available from 4 pm until 10 am on a given
day, followed by 54 hours without any at all. This regime will be in effect at
least until the end of March. Industrial plants in areas of Sofia will face a
reduction of 30%. Because of a summer drought and a dry autumn, the monthly
amount of water available to supply the capital has been reduced from 13
million cubic meters to an insufficient 11 or 12 million. * Stefan Krause
MACEDONIAN CENSUS RESULTS.
The Macedonian Statistical Office has
published the results of the June 1994 census, Nova Makedonija reported
on 29 December. Out of a total registered population of 1.9 million people,
only 1.3 million or 66.5% identified themselves as Macedonians. The 22.9% who
declared themselves to be Albanians were followed by 4% Turks, 2.3% Gypsies and
2% Serbs. The remaining minorities each make up less than 1% of the population.
Ethnic Albanian politicians have questioned the accuracy of the census, in
which they needed a strong showing to prove their claim that ethnic Albanians
make up some 40% of the population. The EU and CSCE monitored the survey and
said it had been conducted properly. * Stefan Krause and Fabian Schmidt
ALBANIAN PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATES EX-MINISTERS.
Chief Prosecutor Alush
Dragoshi has begun criminal investigations against four former ministers from
the governing Democratic Party, Koha Jone reported on 30 December.
Former Transport and Communications Minister Fatos Bitincka, along with Albert
Gajo, an adviser to Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi, are accused of falsifying
documents. Genc Ruli and Artan Hoxha, former ministers for finance and foreign
trade respectively, and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Rexhep Uka are accused of
abusing their positions as well, but Koha Jone gave no details. Uka and
Ruli enjoy parliamentary immunity. Dragoshi has been criticized for starting
proceedings against political enemies of President Sali Berisha such as Supreme
Court Chief Judge Zef Brozi, whose immunity parliament refused to rescind. *
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Pete Baumgartner and Steve Kettle