DUMA PASSES DUMA ELECTORAL LAW.
The State Duma passed an electoral law
that will fill half of the lower house's seats by party list in 264-45 vote,
with three abstentions on 9 June, Interfax reported. President Boris Yeltsin
had vetoed an earlier draft of the bill on 23 May in part because he wanted to
lower the number of party-seats to one-third. However, the Duma deputies and
the president were able to put together a compromise at the end of last week.
Vladimir Isakov, chairman of the Conciliatory Commission, said the Duma refused
to cave in on the party-list voting and forced the president to accept many of
their demands, Segodnya reported on 10 June. The agreement rejected
Yeltsin's proposal to hold the elections in two rounds. The Federation Council,
which did not approve earlier Duma versions, will begin considering the law 13
June. * Robert Orttung
YELTSIN SAYS IT IS TOO EARLY TO ANNOUNCE HIS PLANS.
said he will only announce his plans for seeking a second term at the last
minute in order not to disrupt the country, according to an interview with
Izvestiya excerpted by Western agencies. He said that if he declared
right away, all of his actions would be seen as part of the campaign, and if he
announced he would not run, it would upset the work of the presidential staff,
the government, and other parts of the executive branch. * Robert Orttung
DUMA SEEKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CLARIFICATION ON SEPARATION OF POWERS.
Viktor Ilyukhin, chairman of the Duma Security Committee, has won the Duma's
approval to ask the Constitutional Court to examine the role of the Russian
president, Segodnya reported on 10 June. The request pointed out that
the constitution mandates a division between executive, legislative, and
judicial branches but does not describe the president as part of any branch.
Moreover, the Duma identified a contradiction in the separation of powers
because the constitution states that half of the seats in the Federation
Council must be filled by regional representatives of the executive branch.
With apparent agreement over the Duma electoral law, the president and
parliament must now define how future members of the Federation Council will be
chosen. Yeltsin wants them to be executive and legislative leaders from each of
Russia's 89 republics and regions, while his critics want them to be directly
elected by the population. * Robert Orttung
GRACHEV SKIPS NATO MEETING: SNUB OR DOMESTIC POLITICS?
Pavel Grachev did not attend a 9 June meeting in Brussels of defense ministers
from countries in NATO and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Western
agencies reported that NATO and American officials expressed understanding for
Grachev's absence since he had accompanied President Yeltsin to his summit with
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, but quoted one unnamed source as saying "it
would not hurt for Grachev to send a deputy." According to
Kommersant-Daily on 9 June, Grachev had intended to send one of his
deputies, but Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev "saw to it that the Defense
Ministry mission's trip to Belgium was canceled." Russia was represented at the
meeting by its ambassador to Belgium, Vitaly Churkin, who is a former Kozyrev
deputy. The paper explained that while both ministries were opposed to NATO
expansion, the Foreign Ministry preferred "different, softer, and smoother
tactics in relation with the West" than those of the blunt generals. * Doug
FEDERAL FORCES LAUNCH NEW ATTACK IN CHECHNYA.
Federal troops launched an
offensive against Chechen separatist forces over the weekend, Interfax and
Western agencies reported on June 10. Fighting was particularly intense around
the villages of Shatoy and Nozhay-Yurt, which Russian officers described as two
of the last strongholds of Chechen resistance. In an interview with Radio
Rossii on 11 June, Lt. Gen. Gennady Troshev, commander of the joint group of
federal forces in Chechnya, described the offensive as "the final one," adding
that the Chechen separatist forces "should be destroyed within two weeks." On 9
June, the Duma passed a resolution calling on President Yeltsin to end military
action in Chechnya. According to the resolution, there have been some 5,000
Russian army casualties in the fighting. In an interview with Izvestiya
on the same day, Yeltsin showed no sign of changing his approach to the
conflict. * Scott Parrish
HUNT FOR QUAKE VICTIMS ENDS.
On 9 June, rescue workers called off the
search for survivors in the rubble of Neftegorsk, which was flattened by an
earthquake last month, Russian and Western agencies reported. The Emergencies
Ministry said the death toll had risen to 1,841 by the time the search was
halted; more than 400 people from the town survived the quake and about 200 are
missing. A new series of tremors registering up to 4 points on the Richter
scale shook northern Sakhalin on 10 June. * Penny Morvant
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT NOT TO RULE ON LEGALITY OF NUCLEAR FUEL DECREE.
Constitutional Court resolved on 9 June to end its examination of a
presidential decree on the storage in Russia of spent nuclear fuel from foreign
nuclear power plants, Interfax reported. Yeltsin's decree provided for
continuing construction of a plant near Krasnoyarsk to process spent nuclear
fuel; Duma deputies appealed to the court on the grounds that the decree
contradicts the Law on the Environment, which bans the import of nuclear fuel.
According to Izvestiya on 9 June, Russia is obliged under international
agreements to accept spent fuel from power plants constructed according to
Russian design, but the new plant is intended to process radioactive waste that
has no connection with Russia as well. The court decided to drop the case on
the grounds that the decree is not a legal act because it is meant to cover a
limited period and contains specific instructions for one plant. * Penny
ROSUGOL TO BECOME JOINT-STOCK COMPANY?
At a meeting on 9 June, the Fuel
and Energy Ministry board backed a proposal by the directors of Rosugol to
convert the state-owned coal association into a joint-stock company,
Kommersant-Daily reported on 10 June. Under a six-year restructuring
program, approved by the Duma's Industry, Construction, Transport, and Energy
Committee on 8 June, about 100 loss-making mines are to be closed, including
about 70 by 1998. According to Rosugol chairman Yury Malyshev, the coal
industry will need subsidies of 14 trillion rubles in 1996. The 1995 budget
allotted 7.5 trillion rubles to the industry, and another 2.5 trillion rubles
will be paid later in the year from India's debt to the USSR. * Penny Morvant
DUMA PROPOSES PEACE PLAN FOR BOSNIA.
The Duma passed a resolution
outlining a proposed peace plan for Bosnia on 9 June, Interfax reported. The
plan calls for Bosnian Serb forces to release their hostages in exchange for a
moratorium on NATO air strikes against their positions, followed by an
"indefinite truce" and negotiations between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims on a
political settlement. In a declaration accompanying the proposed plan, the Duma
expressed its opinion that the recent creation of a NATO "rapid reaction force"
to support UN peacekeeping in Bosnia "presents a special danger" and is aimed
"at the gradual replacement of UN peacekeeping forces . . . with NATO forces."
The declaration also criticized Foreign Minister Kozyrev's suggestion that
Russian troops might be added to the rapid reaction force, calling it a
"mistake." * Scott Parrish
RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN SPACE GIANTS PLAN JOINT MARKETING.
firm Lockheed Martin and Russia's Khrunichev State Space Research and
Scientific-Production Center announced on 10 June in Paris that they had set up
a joint company to market their space boosters, AFP reported. The new company,
International Launch Services (ILS), will compete directly with the European
space company Arianespace which currently holds half the world market for
commercial space launches. ILS will offer both the American Atlas and the
Russian Proton rockets, and company officials said they could provide clients
greater flexibility in placing satellites in orbit. * Doug Clarke
The converted submarine-launched intercontinental
ballistic missile that carried a German experiment into space on 9 June also
delivered mail to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East ITAR-TASS
reported. The agency said 1,270 letters were aboard the missile, which was
fired from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. The mail was parachuted to
the ground on the peninsula and was delivered the same day along with special
certificates certifying it had been delivered by ballistic missile. * Doug
RUBLE STRENGTHENS AGAINST DOLLAR.
The Russian ruble strengthened against
the dollar on 9 June, closing at 4,881 to $1
compared with 4,991 to $1
on 8 June, the Financial Information Agency reported. Trading was substantial
at $202.9 million. Since April, the ruble has gained almost 5% against the U.S.
dollar, even though monthly inflation hovers around 8%. On 8 June, Economics
Minister Yevgeny Yasin expressed concern that the ruble's rise was not
necessarily beneficial for the economy. * Thomas Sigel
STATE DUMA REJECTS PRODUCTION SHARING LAW.
The State Duma rejected a
production sharing agreement that could have paved the way for large foreign
oil and gas investments on its second reading, Russian and Western agencies
reported on 9 June. The bill would have removed some of the vagueness
concerning jurisdiction over resources, licensing, and taxation, thus
encouraging foreign oil companies to move forward with projects. * Thomas
CHUBAIS ENCOURAGES INVESTMENT.
Russia's monetary stabilization policy is
attracting financial investment and foreigners are participating more actively
on the stock market, Russian First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais told Russian
and Western agencies on 9 June. He said foreign portfolio investments totaled
$40 million in March, $100 million in April, and $200 million in May and noted
that 40-45% of the investments in shares were in the oil sector. * Thomas
AZERBAIJAN SIGNS NEW CASPIAN OIL DEAL.
The Azerbaijan State Oil Company
(SOCAR) has signed an agreement with Russia's Lukoil, the Italian company Agip,
and the U.S. company Pennzoil to develop the Karabakh offshore oil field with
estimated extractable resources of 85-120 million metric tons, Interfax
reported on 9 June. Lukoil has a 32% stake in the consortium, Agip and Pennzoil
hold 30% each, and SOCAR, which is experiencing serious problems financing its
share in a larger consortium to develope three other offshore fields, holds
7.5%. * Liz Fuller
UKRAINE AND RUSSIA REACH AGREEMENT OVER BLACK SEA FLEET.
President Leonid Kuchma and his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin reached an
agreement over the Black Sea Fleet during their meeting in Sochi, international
agencies reported on 10 June. Although the accord was hailed by Kuchma as
having "generally solved" the dispute over the fleet and its basing, it left
many of the controversial points open to interpretation. The agreement
reiterated that the fleet itself would be divided equally but Russia would buy
out the majority of Ukraine's share, leaving Kiev with less than 20% of the
fleet's vessels. It was also agreed that Russia would be able to base its share
of the fleet in Sevastopol, a concession earlier opposed by Ukraine. The text
of the accord did not, however, preclude the basing of Ukraine's navy in
Sevastopol as well. The accord was assailed by the Congress of Ukrainian
Nationalists and Ukrainian communists as betraying the country's interests by
allowing Russia to use Sevastopol as its main base, and one deputy, Stepan
Khmara, called for Kuchma's impeachment. * Ustina Markus
UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR SHUT DOWN AFTER MINOR LEAK.
A minor leak in
the gasket of the generator in the No. 3 reactor at Pivdennyi nuclear power
plant, in southern Ukraine, prompted the shutdown of the reactor only 24 hours
before it was due to be taken off line for routine repairs, Interfax-Ukraine
and Reuters reported on 10 June. There was no release of radiation reported in
connection with the leak, which occurred in the non-nuclear power generator
within the bloc. Meanwhile, Interfax-Ukraine on 11 June reported that former
Crimean president Yurii Meshkov has been hospitalized with diphtheria. The
hospital's chief physician said she was perplexed as to how Meshkov could have
contracted the disease, since he has barricaded himself in the presidential
office in Simferopol following Kiev's decision to abolish his post in March. *
IMF RELEASES MORE CREDITS TO UKRAINE.
International agencies on 10 June
reported that the IMF has released the second half of a $700 million credit to
Ukraine. The decision to release the funds was taken by the IMF Executive Board
the previous day because Ukraine has been abiding by its economic reform
program. Kiev is now waiting for the IMF to release the first part of the
larger $1.5 billion credit it has been promised. * Ustina Markus
LOCAL ELECTIONS FLOP IN BELARUS.
AFP and ITAR-TASS on 11 June reported
that turnout at local elections in Belarus was below the 50% minimum required
for the elections to be valid. If the elections are declared invalid, the local
representatives appointed by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will be the sole
authorities in the regions. Belarusians failed to elect a new parliament in
May, and even less interest has been shown in the local elections. Voter apathy
has helped strengthen the president's authority. * Ustina Markus
BALTIC FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET.
Riivo Sinijarv (Estonia), Valdis Birkavs
(Latvia), and Povilas Gylys (Lithuania) signed a trilateral agreement on
visa-free travel in Riga on 9 June, BNS reported. Additional protocols list the
32 countries whose citizens need have a visa to only one Baltic State in order
to enter the other Baltic States without a visa and stay there up to 30 days at
a time but no more than 90 days a year. Lithuania and Latvia agreed to have six
railroad and six road border control points for international traffic and 17
other crossings for Latvian and Lithuanian residents only. The agreements will
go into effect on 1 July. The ministers also coordinated their positions on
seeking membership in the European Union. * Saulius Girnius
CONSTRUCTION OF LITHUANIAN OIL TERMINAL STARTS.
Prime Minister Adolfas
Slezevicius opened the ceremonies marking the official beginning of the
construction of a floating oil terminal at Butinge on 9 June, Interfax
reported. Work has already begun on constructing roads, communication and power
lines, as well as water and sewage systems on the mainland. The project is
expected to be completed within 24 months under the supervision of the Flour
Daniel Williams Company at an estimated cost of $220 million. The U.S. Eximbank
has offered a $80 million credit, but the Lithuanian parliament has not yet
authorized its signature. It is unclear where the remaining funds will come
from. * Saulius Girnius
WALESA UNDER ATTACK AT SOLIDARITY CONGRESS.
Congress ended in Gdansk on 11 June with delegates accusing Polish President
and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa of giving too much support to the
postcommunist ruling coalition. Walesa refrained from openly declaring his
candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections, Polish media reported. In
other news, the Sejm on 9 June voted 143 to 122 to amend the penal code to
introduce a five-year moratorium on capital punishment. The amendment must
still be approved by the Senate. * Jakub Karpinski
POLISH-U.S. MILITARY AGREEMENT.
Poland and the U.S. on 9 June reached a
military agreement on the exchange of research and development information. The
document was signed in Warsaw by visiting U.S. Defense Undersecretary Paul
Kamin-ski and Polish Deputy Defense Minister Jan Kuriata, Polish and
international media reported. Poland is the second country in East Central
Europe, after Hungary, to sign such an agreement. Meanwhile, documents from the
Special Operations Executive released in London on 9 June confirm that British
authorities knew the truth about the 1940 Soviet massacre of Polish officers in
Katyn but decided to conceal it so as not to turn public opinion against their
wartime ally the Soviet Union, Polish and international media reported. * Jakub
CZECH TEACHERS CALL STRIKE, DOCTORS THREATEN ACTION.
The Czech teachers'
trade union on 10 June called a strike for the first day of the fall term to
press demands for a 20% wage rise, Czech media reported. The teachers want the
rise from July and a further 30% from next January. They have threatened an
all-out strike if their demands are not met. Government ministers dealing with
economic policy say that public sector employees will receive only a 10% rise
this year. The main doctors' union, meeting over the weekend, also threatened
strike action if doctors do not receive a 100% wage increase. It called on
Health Minister Ludek Rubas to resign, saying that under his direction the
health service is now in a critical condition. Rubas rejected the resignation
call. * Steve Kettle
SLOVAK PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM UNDER FIRE.
Changes in the coupon
privatization program (see OMRI Daily Digest, 7 and 8 June 1995) have
drawn criticism from the opposition. Peter Zajac from the Permanent Conference
of the Civic Institute said on 9 June that the new model will exclude citizens
from privatization and create the possibility of "privatization without public
control." He also told Sme that since the conditions for the program
have changed, the government should return the 1,000 koruny that citizens have
paid for coupon booklets to those who do not want to participate in the new
program. Former National property fund chairman Viliam Vaskovic, in a
round-table discussion on Slovak TV on 11 June, said the changes are a
"negative step" that conflict with the government's program declaration. In an
interview with Sme on 12 June, he described the government's draft law
on privatization as "unconstitutional." * Sharon Fisher
HUNGARY TO RESTITUTE CHRISTIAN, JEWISH PROPERTY.
Minister Gyula Horn, meeting with World Jewish Congress leaders in New York on
9 June, pledged to reach an agreement by 30 September to restitute all
Christian and Jewish property seized by the Nazis and later nationalized by the
Communists, Reuters reported. Horn said he would order government working
committees to start separate talks in July with Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, and
Calvinist Church leaders on the future of some 5,000 pieces of property worth
millions of dollars. According to Horn, all religious property will be restored
to its rightful owners within a decade and any property that cannot be returned
will be paid for over a period of 20 years. The WJC said Horn's pledge was a
major breakthrough in its fight to have East European countries return
nationalized property worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Some U.S. leaders
recently warned East European nations that relations with Washington would
suffer unless they dealt with the issue of confiscated Jewish property. * Jiri
NATO MEETS PFP PARTNERS IN BRUSSELS.
NATO defense ministers on 9 June
met with their counterparts from the 26 countries that have signed up for
NATO's Partnership for Peace program, international agencies reported the same
day. NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes said that while "PfP is already
producing tangible security benefits," many of the PfP countries have yet to
strike the right balance between civilian authority and the military. He
stressed that civilian control of the military was an important element in
consolidating their democracies but admitted it could take "years and years."
Meanwhile, the Polish Defense Minister Zbigniew Okonski announced at the
meeting that Poland was willing to contribute up to half a Polish brigade to
the 10,000-man rapid reaction force being considered by France, Britain, and
the Netherlands for deployment to Bosnia. * Michael Mihalka
IS SERBIA CONTINUING TO SUPPORT BOSNIAN SERBS?
The New York Times
on 11 June reported that Belgrade seems to be still covertly helping the
Bosnian Serbs, despite Serbian President Slobodan Milo-sevic's apparent break
with the Bosnian Serb leadership in August 1994. The U.S. daily states that
according to European and U.S. officials, the Yugoslav army has continued to
pay the salaries of some Bosnian Serb officers and to supply Bosnian Serb
troops with vital commodities such as fuel. But it is unclear how systematic
and significant Serbia's support for the Bosnian Serbs is. * Stan Markotich
BOSNIAN SERBS SEIZE AID.
Bosnian Serbs on 11 June seized several tons of
food aid earmarked for Muslims in the besieged enclave of Zepa. The aid,
organized by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was to have arrived at its
destination on 10 June but was detained at a Bosnian Serb checkpoint. According
to AFP, Bosnian Serb troops delayed the convoy after they discovered bullets in
a sack of flour, which UNHCR officials suspect was planted by the Serbs. "We
were given two options . . . Either the Bosnian Serb army would confiscate the
convoy or it would go back fully laden to our warehouse in Belgrade," AFP
quoted an UNHCR official as saying. In other news, international media on 11
June reported heavy fighting in eastern Bosnia, including near Gorazde, where
government forces fought with Bosnian Serbs over control of strategic
territory. * Stan Markotich
BOSNIAN VICE PRESIDENT REJECTS BOUTROS GHALI'S PEACE PLAN.
Hina on 11
June reported that Ejup Ganic has rejected UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros
Ghali's proposal for a new peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The proposal was
published by the German magazine Der Spiegel. It advocates bringing the
Bosnian Serb side back to the negotiating table in order to restart the peace
process. Ganic argues that the Contact Group's plan, which allocates 49%
control of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Bosnian Serbs and the remainder to the
Bosnian Muslim and Croatian federation, remains the best solution. He also
observed that to invite Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to the table would
again signal that he "can keep the occupied territories," which account for 70%
of Bosnia. * Stan Markotich
CROATIAN PRESIDENT GIVES SERBS ULTIMATUM.
Krajina Serb aircraft on 9
June bombed Croatian positions in the Dinara range in response to a steady
offensive by Zagreb's forces. The following day, Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman visited Okucani in western Slavonia, which his forces took in Operation
Blitz on 1 and 2 May, in his first visit to the area since the reconquest.
International media said he told the Krajina Serbs that they will face further
"lightning offensives" if they do not seek reintegration into Croatia by the
time UNCRO's mandate runs out at the end of October. He added that he hoped
that Croatian refugees from Serbia and the Banja Luka area of Bosnia would help
repopulate western Slavonia. * Patrick Moore
TURKISH-LANGUAGE SCHOOLS TORN DOWN IN MACEDONIA.
Two buildings in which
ethnic Turkish students have received schooling in their native language for
the past two years have been torn down, MIC reported on 9 June. The buildings
were in the districts of Zhupa and Papradnik and were reportedly destroyed by
the Debar local authorities' "demolition service." Both schools were
constructed without a building license in the grounds of mosques. The
demolition is reportedly unrelated to the Education Ministry's ban on classes
outside the state educational system. * Fabian Schmidt
ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ATTACKS UNION LEADERS.
The Romanian government, in a
statement issued on 9 June, criticized the leaders of Romania's three main
labor unions for allegedly rejecting a dialogue with both the government and
employers, Radio Bucharest reported. The communiqué said the leaders of
the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions-The Brotherhood, the
National Labor Bloc, and the Alfa Cartel were trying to "hijack" the labor
movement and "subordinate it to their own economic and political interests." It
further accused them of indulging in "populist demagoguery" and of
"artificially provoking social tension." The government appealed to
rank-and-file union members not to respond to "inciting calls" for
demonstrations aimed at "destabilizing the country and creating anarchy." * Dan
RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SAYS 14TH ARMY TO STAY.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Sergei Krylov on 10 June suggested that the 14th Russian army might remain in
Tiraspol for a long period of time, Interfax reported. He noted that the army
has played a stabilizing role in the region over the past years. Krylov also
said that although there has been some progress in talks between Chisinau and
Tiraspol over the status of the Dniester region, negotiations have slowed down
of late. Krylov's statement came shortly after a U.S. Defense Department
delegation urged that the army be pulled out. The head of the delegation,
Brigadier General Dale Nelson, told journalists on 8 June that the only
solution was the withdrawal of the 14th army from Moldova. He added that many
countries, including Russia and the U.S., have recognized Moldovan
independence. * Dan Ionescu
NEW PARTY FOUNDED IN MOL-DOVA.
The Party of Social Progress in Moldova
held its founding congress in Chisinau on 8 June, Infotag and BASA-press
reported. The congress was attended by 120 delegates, including some from the
breakaway Dniester region. The party's program describes the formation as
democratic, pragmatic, and multi-national, with a social-democratic
orientation. Some Moldovan media suggested that prominent members of the ruling
Democratic Agrarian Party of Moldova who are dissatisfied with the political
line of President Mircea Snegur were behind the new formation. Petru Lucinschi,
chairman of the Moldovan parliament, is regarded as the party's possible
leader. * Dan Ionescu
BULGARIA, ROMANIA SEEK LOCATION FOR DANUBE BRIDGE.
on 11 June said the question of the location for a second Danube bridge linking
Bulgaria and Romania will be solved by July, Reuters reported the same day.
Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu discussed the issue with his
Bulgarian counterpart, Georgi Pirinski, in Evksinograd. The new bridge is
estimated to cost about $400 million and will ease bottlenecks from central and
western Europe to the Middle East. At present, there is only one bridge,
linking Ruse and Giurgiu, which has become heavily congested, especially since
the UN embargo against rump Yugoslavia. * Stefan Krause
BULGARIAN PREMIER ON EU, NATO.
Zhan Videnov, addressing the North
Atlantic Assembly conference in Sofia on 11 June, said Bulgaria wants to join
both the EU and NATO, AFP reported the same day. He noted that EU membership
has top priority for Bulgaria but that it is still early to discuss either
possible Bulgarian participation in NATO's military framework or the deployment
of nuclear weapons and foreign troops on Bulgarian territory. Videnov also
repeated his government's position that sanctions against rump Yugoslavia must
be partially lifted. He advised against lifting the arms embargo against Bosnia
and proposed a summit of the Balkan countries to discuss infrastructure
problems in the region. * Stefan Krause
ETHNIC TURKISH DORMITORY IN BULGARIA ATTACKED.
A dormitory for ethnic
Turkish students in Ruse was attacked on 10 June, international agencies
reported the following day. The assailants threw stones and smashed the windows
of the building, but no injuries were reported. Bulgarian media linked the
event to the 12 June trial of Anton Rachev, a local skinhead leader accused of
disseminating fascist propaganda. Rachev's prosecutor and local newspapers have
received letters threatening new attacks if he is convicted. * Stefan Krause
ALBANIAN FORMER COMMUNIST LEADER TO REMAIN IN PRISON.
A Tirana court on
10 June rejected Ramiz Alia's claim that he has served out his prison term and
should be released under the new penal code and an amnesty law, international
agencies reported on 10 June. The new penal code, which went into effect on 10
June, states that every day someone spends in prison between arrest and trial
counts as one and a half days in prison. Alia was sentenced to nine years in
prison in 1992 for "violation of the rights and freedoms of Albanian citizens."
But his sentence was reduced by various courts of appeal and an amnesty last
year. Alia is due to be released on 29 March 1996. * Fabian Schmidt
GREEK PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR NEW PROBE INTO MAVI.
Greek prosecutors have
asked for a new investigation into the Greek extremist Northern Epirus
Liberation Front (MAVI), which is charged with attacking military barracks in
Albania last year, AFP reported on 10 June. They have asked the Supreme Court
to investigate "anyone responsible . . . for troubling peaceful relations"
between Greece and Albania. Five Greek citizens and four ethnic Greeks from
Albania were arrested in March and indicted for illegal possession and
trafficking of weapons. Seven were in possession of Kalashnikov rifles taken
from the Albanian barracks in last year's terrorist attack. They may now face
charges of murder and attempted murder. * Fabian Schmidt
[As of 12:00 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave