Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 176

Lithuanian parliament chairman Vytautas Landsbergis yesterday strongly criticized State Security Department (SSD) chief Jurgis Jurgelis for his recent assertion that the secret services of hostile powers are not active in Lithuania. Equally "naive" was Jurgelis’ public announcement last week that the SSD is "secretly preparing" an operation against smugglers of illegal migrants, Landsbergis said. He acknowledged that parliament is not empowered to dismiss Jurgelis — only the president is — but called for an investigation of his performance.

Landsbergis also criticized the Internal Affairs Ministry for arresting seven Home Guard Volunteers on charges of conspiring to assassinate Belarusan president Alyaksandr Lukashenka during the regional summit in Vilnius two weeks ago. The group was released after 48 hours for lack of evidence, but the arrest and charges triggered a conflict between the Internal Affairs Ministry and the Defense Ministry, of which the Home Guard forms a part. Landsbergis cited the incident as a possible example of disinformation by a foreign secret service aimed at setting the two ministries against each other. (BNS, September 22)

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