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Lithuanian President Refuses To Appear Before Panel

Vilnius, 22 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas says he will continue to refuse to appear before a special panel preparing the ground for his impeachment until he has seen the documents on which charges against him are based.

Paksas told a Lithuanian radio station that only when he has the documents will he decide whether, when, and where to appear.

Parliament adopted a report late last year saying that links between his office and organized crime make him a national security threat. The panel is to recommend by 13 February whether parliament should impeach him.

The panel has invited Paksas on several occasions to appear. Paksas denies any wrongdoing and says he will not resign.