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Monday 01.05.2017 | Name days: Ziedonis
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De Facto: KGB research committee not allowed to access documents

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOver the past two years the KGB research committee has not managed to reach an agreement with Constitution Protection Bureau on access to certain documents, as reported by De Facto programme.

The programme reports that SAB stores the most interesting documents about KGB agents. However, the bureau refuses to grant access to many documents, saying it is necessary for protection of personal data.

SAB denied the possibility of allowing the entire committee to work in the bureau. One proposed solutions includes making two or three researchers SAB employees. «But the bureau does not have the money to pay them wages. When the committee offered to pay its own money, SAB Director Janis Maizitis said – it is no longer possible to accept researchers as employees,» journalists say.

Maizitis denied in an interview to De Facto that he does not want to see researchers in SAB: «This committee does not respect all the requirements to allow it to study documents and work in the bureau.» He said researchers have to fill forms and receive access to official secrets. Maizitis mentioned that KGB documents, archives, written documents and other materials are not state secret. Special access is necessary to enter the rooms of SAB.

The programme states that members of the committee have not filled any forms. Karlis Kangeris, head of the committee, told De Facto that the documents in question are not under official secret status. He also said that the SAB director had made it clear that the bureau will not allow researchers to access many documents regardless, because they contain personal information.

«If SAB does not intend to grant us access to personal files, there is no point in getting permits,» Kangeris said.

Researchers have requested very specific information from SAB’s KGB electronic database Delta about KGB’s role in liquidating anti-Soviet youth organizations. This information had been available to former SAB employee Indulis Zalitis and attorney Andris Grutups, who wrote about LGB agent ‘Jekabs Smiltens’ in his book ‘Observators’, LTV reports.

But Maizitis told KGB research committee that information cannot be provided because it ‘contains information about specific private persons’.

SAB director mentioned the restriction in relation to the database of KGB agents.

«We follow the law. There is no law in Latvia that permits public access to the agent database. There is no such law. There is the Archive Law and there is Personal Data Protection Law – we follow these laws,’ said the director of SAB.

Member of the research committee and former judge Juris Stukans believes SAB has been in breach of the KGB Documents Law for years. ‘A completely illegal interpretation,’ he says, adding that the law clearly states that the committee formed by the order of the government has to perform research of Delta database and the agent database.

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