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Lithuania shocked as Austria frees ex-KGB man

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Lithuania shocked as Austria frees ex-KGB man


Lithuania has demanded answers from Austria after Vienna police freed a wanted former KGB general just 24 hours after his arrest.

Officials believe Mikhail Golovatov was behind a Soviet crackdown after the Baltic State declared independence.

“The prosecutor-general’s office regretfully regards the actions of the Austrian authorities as a gross violation of EU and international law,” said Andrius Nevera, deputy prosecutor-general.

But Austrian diplomats say the European arrest warrant issued by Lithuania was too vague to merit Golovatov’s continued detention — a charge denied by Vilnius.

Golovatov was a former commander of the KBG’s Alpha Group. Lithuanian prosecutors accuse him of organising his unit’s storming of the state television studios on January 13th, 1991, in which 14 people died.

He could face life imprisonment in the Baltic nation if convicted but is now reportedly in Russia.

Lithuania was seized by the former Soviet Union after World War Two. The country declared independence in March 1990.

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