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Lithuanian President Asked to Testify in Probe of Leaks - 2004-01-13

The Lithuanian prosecutor general has asked President Rolandas Paksas to testify as a witness in three pre-trial investigations.

Prosecutor General Antanas Klimavicius sent a letter to Mr. Paksas in Vilnius Monday, asking him to testify in three probes. Those probes concern the alleged leak of classified information from the presidential office, allegations of threats made against the President, and reported unlawful interference by state officials in the setting of property disputes between Lithuanian businesses.

The President's spokesman could not say Monday whether Mr. Paksas will agree to testify in the probes.

Lithuanian law allows the President to be questioned only with his own consent. The prosecutor must be present during the questioning.

Lithuanian lawmakers last month created a panel to consider impeachment charges in a separate proceeding against Mr. Paksas. The body is to present its conclusions to parliament next month.

Mr. Paksas is accused of tolerating links between his advisors and Russian-organized crime groups, and of leaking classified information. He has denied any wrong-doing and has stated he will not resign.