Latvia’s Supreme Court on May 30 sentenced “racketeering king” Ivan Kharitonov and three accomplices–Valagin, Korobeyko and Burlay–to prison terms on charges of extortion and kidnapping. The trial was the most significant anti-crime action to date in Latvia, where judicial action against organized crime has sometimes seemed inhibited by extra-judicial considerations.
In Lithuania, the Prosecutor’s Office arraigned former KGB agent Agafon Surinin on genocide charges for his role in the deportation of Lithuanians to the Soviet Far North and Siberia. This is the first case to be prosecuted under Lithuania’s new law, passed last week at Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis’ initiative. It defines direct participation in those deportations as a crime of genocide, not subject to a statute of limitations. (BNS, May 29 and 30; and see the Monitor, May 26).
UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN JOINT VENTURE TO DEVELOP OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DEPOSITS.