Austria and Baltics face crisis

  • 2011-07-27
  • Dr. Sabine Stadler, Austria

Dear TBT,

Now suddenly the Baltic States and Austria are in a large bilateral and international crisis, due to the non-deliverance of an ex-KGB officer to Lithuania, wanted with an official warrant to [extradite] to Lithuania. The Austrian public prosecutor checked and revealed the content as not sufficient, explaining the penal-law paragraphs and offenses Mr. Golovatov had committed in 1990 and 1991.The reports on Austrian TV were many, explaining the whole case, but the Austrian Minister of Justice, Dr. Karl, defended her public prosecutor, Dr. Schober, and said that it was a question of time. Within the holding of the Russian KGB officer in an Austrian penal-prison, the time ran out to receive the whole dossier on Mr. Golovatov to hold him for deliverance to Lithuania.

Now the opinions are spread wide and a working-group is installed for learning and cooperation and to improve the prosecution in case of human rights violations world-wide. This is not the first case, as Austria has a long tradition in work with war-criminals from the Balkan states, and also with Russian spies. But then the deliverance is always back to their home country; evidently Mr. Golovatov was qualified as a spy, with a return to Russia [called for].

This shows a lack of cooperation and knowledge [between] the Baltic States and Austria and the future will show how far the relations can be re-established. The assistance of the EU will be useful in order to prevent further cases like this in Europe.


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