Latvia to reconsider KGB bill

  • 2006-10-16
  • By TBT staff

DARK PAST: Much controversy surrounds a new bill proposing the publication of KGB archives.

RIGA - Latvia's parliamentary legal committee will again consider a bill that seeks to make public the information contained within the archives of the former Soviet secret service, the KGB. The bill was returned to Parliament for revision by President Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Under the bill, the names and details of 4,500 former KGB agents in Latvia would be released for public scrutiny.
When returning the bill to Parliament, Vike-Freiberga said too many people would be adversely affected by the publishing of such information.

"Publishing information about such people, without any consent of what kind of crimes the person has helped to solve, would threaten immunity of their private life and physical security," said the president.
The possibility of releasing information from KGB files that were left behind in Latvia after the Baltic state restored its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 has been discussed in Latvia at regular intervals during recent years, with some arguing that former agents should be exposed.

Although Latvia has now elected a new Parliament, the outgoing Parliament will discuss the matter on Oct. 18 before handing power to the incoming representatives.
Legal committee chairman Mareks Seglins said that the outgoing parliament would discuss the amendments.
"We absolutely certainly will discuss them in the current Parliament," said Seglins. He explained that the legal committee will review proposals for the amendments on Oct. 18, and they would put before the Parliament in a week.