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Eastern Europe: Conference To Help Countries Combat Crime

Prague, 3 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- A high-level conference aimed at helping 16 Central and East European states fight corruption and organized crime will be held next week in Sofia.

The three-day meeting is sponsored jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Union's Executive Commission. It will be attended by deputy ministers of justice, national experts on crime and Council of Europe legal and crime specialists.

The Sofia conference is the first step in a year-long project, known as "Octopus," designed to provide participating nations with informed advice on the legal instruments necessary for combating crime. The project also seeks to promote cooperation among officials dealing with crime in the region.

The 16 participating countries are: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.