Parliament adopts a law on lie detector

  • 2000-09-07
VILNIUS (BNS) - The Lithu-anian parliament yielded to a presidential veto and adopted on Aug. 29 amendments to laws on the use of polygraph tests and state and official secrets proposed by President Valdas Adamkus.

The president had vetoed the lie detector law in July, expressing doubts about the bill's accordance with the Lithuanian constitution. Adamkus also said that the definition of cases where the polygraph would be used should be more precise.

Adamkus also suggested that the information obtained during a lie detector test be considered a state secret.

The adopted law determines the procedure of using lie detectors and defines the rights and duties of specialists working with the device and of those being subjected to the test. The legislation stipulates that the polygraph test would be applied in verifying facts in a person's biography and other information as a part of a screening procedure for applicants for jobs involving work with classified material.

As the results of a lie detector test cannot be described as 100 percent reliable, these results will not be legally binding and the test will be voluntary, suggests the law, which is planned to take effect Nov. 1. The government has been instructed to prepare legal acts necessary for the enforcement of the legislation by the date.

According to the president's proposals, only a certified device for simultaneous recording of several involuntary physiological activities, including blood pressure, skin resistivity, pulse rate and respiration, used to verify if the person is telling the truth, can be considered a polygraph. The proposals also require the government to set rules regarding the tests.

The Interior Ministry's Immunity Service, the government security service and some other state institutions have been using lie detectors for several years already.