Volume 30, No.3 - Fall 1984
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1984 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.



Hello! This is a new section — our effort to communicate selected current events and other items of interest that otherwise would go unnoticed because of long lead times (LITUANUS is a quarterly) or more general, academic topics treated in our major articles.

• Looking at the heading, one may wonder: LITUANUS Data Bank, really? — Yes, it indeed exists, though it is not automated yet. However, now we do have a full capability to work with full Lithuanian language alphabet and the software is being expanded to handle alphabets in computers for Latvian and Polish languages. See the article on this subject in this issue.

• A new Lithuanian Bishop was appointed for the spiritual assistance of Lithuanian Catholics living outside Lithuania. He is a Franciscan, Father Paul Antanas Baltakis, residing in Kennebunk-port, Maine. As Titular Bishop of Egara, Bishop Baltakis will be coordinating approximately one million Catholics of Lithuanian descent in the United States, Canada, Australia, Latin America and Europe. His ordination is scheduled for September 14, 1984 with Archbishop Pio Laghi, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the United States, presiding.

• So much was heard justly on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Normandy invasion which signalled the beginning of the end of World War II. Let us recall the 45th anniversary of an event that opened doors for the beginning of World War II. The infamous event was the August 23-24, 1939 Non-Agression Treaty between Germany and the USSR. Seven days after the treaty, Germany marched into Poland, secure with the knowledge that USSR was their friend and collaborator, and the fires of war were lit. The fate of the Baltic states was decided in the same treaty: its secret "additional protocol" assigned Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the Soviet sphere of influence.

Soviets and Americans Collaborate in the Area of Surprise — Justice . . .

• There is mounting evidence which establishes the unique and special relationship between the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the dreaded and notorious Soviet secret police, the KGB.

• The U.S. Department of Justice, in its zealotry to punish naturalized Americans who collaborated in the Holocaust 40 years ago, is relying upon evidence produced by the secret police of a neo-Stalinist state that is anti-Semitic to its core and is itself the last surviving partner of Hitler's Reich. How can a Department of Justice which would toss out as tainted evidence gathered by our own FBI without a proper warrant, credit and use against Americans evidence produced by these Soviet masters of disinformation and deceit?

Patrick Buchanan,
syndicated columnist

• Neal M. Sher, OSI Director, in a public address on May 31,1984 insisted that the OSI staff scrupulously authenticates "every scrap of evidence, obtained from whatever sources, in order to prove each case under our law, our rules, and our procedures."

• Allan A. Ryan, Jr., former Director of the OSI was quoted on October 30,1982: "In these rases ... I am not going to stop at the Soviet Union simply because it is the Soviet Union. My concern is whether the evidence gathered, and the procedures used to gather it are fair, reliable and consistent with American law."

• Knowing the nature of the Soviet legal system, the government had an obligation to make every effort to ensure that the testimony it received under the auspices of the Soviet authorities was not tainted by the known Soviet practices designed to obtain the desired results in a particular case even at the expense of the truth. If the government deputizes a totalitarian state to obtain for it evidence to be used in a United States court, the government must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the evidence was not coerced or otherwise tainted by improper pressures. The government has not fulfilled its responsibilities in this regard in this case.

Dickinson R. Debevoise,
U.S. District Judge in
the case of U.S. vs. Kungys

Conclusion: The Lithuanian depositions will be admitted for the limited purpose of establishing the happening of the killings in Këdainiai in July and August 1941. They will not be admitted as evidence that defendant participated in the killings. In summary, the reasons for this ruling are: (i) The Soviet Union, which cooperated with the United States government by making these witnesses available, has a strong state interest in a finding that defendant participated in the Këdainiai killings; (ii) The Soviet legal system on occasion distorts or fabricates evidence in cases such as this involving an important state interest; (iii) These depositions were conducted in a manner which made it impossible to determine if the testimony had been influenced improperly by Soviet authorities in that a Soviet procurator presided over the depositions, a Soviet employee served as translator, evidencing actual bias in the manner of translation, and the procurator limited cross-examination into the witnesses' prior statements and dealings with Soviet authorities; (iv) The content of the deposition testimony suggests that the Soviet interrogators distorted the witnesses' testimony when they prepared the 1977 protocols; and (v) The United States government failed to obtain and the Soviet government refused or failed to turn over earlier transcripts and protocols of the witnesses which most likely would have disclosed whether the testimony in this case was the subject of improper influence. Exclusion of the deposition testimony except for the limited purpose specified above is consistent with the course followed by Judge Fullam in United States v. Kowalchuk, 571 F. Supp. 72 (E.D.Pa.1983). In United States v. Linnas, 527 F. Supp. 426 (E.D.N.Y.1981) the Court relied upon videotaped depositions taken in the Soviet Union. However, in that case defendant's counsel did not choose to attend, the indicia or unreliability existing in the present case were not found to exist, and there was strong corroborative evidence.

Dickinson R. Debevoise,
U.S. District Judge in
the case of U.S. vs. Kungys
United States District Court
D. New Jersey
Sept. 28, 1983