FEW EX-KGB COME FORWARD IN LITHUANIA

Dateline: VILNIUS, Lithuania ( AP )

Only 100 ex-KGB agents and informers have come forward under a law requiring them to report on their past activities, although the law may apply to as many as 10,000 people, officials said Tuesday.

The law, which took effect in Lithuania earlier this year, requires former agents and informers to file detailed confessions about their KGB collaboration with a special commission, which then keeps the names in a confidential database.

The law supplements earlier legislation banning ex-agents from most public and even some private jobs. While informers must register, most job restrictions don't apply to them - only to former KGB employees.

Rimas Martinaitis, an official at Lithuania's State Security Department which oversees the registrations, said he expected numbers to increase as an August deadline for filing confessions approaches.

"This past month there were 100 people who came to confess. Next month, there might be 500,'' he said.

If suspected collaborators don't come forward voluntarily and evidence later points to their KGB links, their names would be made public and they could lose their jobs.

Backers of Lithuania's tough KGB laws say the legislation is needed to ensure ex-agents and collaborators aren't ever in a position to sabotage national security But some critics charge that the laws are unnecessary and vindictive.

The KGB collaboration issue has been an emotional one in this Baltic nation of 3.7 million people ever since it regained independence after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.


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