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61% of residents support Latgale's autonomy - Linderman

Vladimir Linderman. Photo: LETA.
 RIGA, Dec 7 - 61 percent of Latgale Province residents support the province's autonomy, and another 10 to 11 percent rather support it than not, For Native Language leader Vladimir Linderman says in an interview with newspaper "Vesti Segodna".
According to Linderman, 892 residents have been surveyed, of which 61 percent said they supported Latgale's autonomy. He said that the Security Police, during the search of his residence yesterday, seized the originals of the questionnaires, therefore he had not managed to collate the data regarding the respondents' age, citizenship and other details, only the general information.
All documents that dealt with Latgale were seized by the Security Police, said Linderman, adding he believe that the Security Police's visit was due to a conference on Latgale's autonomy that would be held in Daugavpils on December 8.
Lindermans emphasizes in the interview that, despite the Security Police's activities, the conference will be held all the same. All those who support the idea of the autonomy of Latgale are invited to the conference. Linderman, however, adds that the discussion will be purely theoretical, and no actual plans for the province's secession will be discussed.
As reported, during yesterday's search of Lindermans' residence, the Security Police seized his computer, flash cards, CDs and documents about the recent survey in Latgale.
Similar searches were also conducted at the residences of his associates Illarion Girs, Jevgenij Osipov and Genadij Peskov.
The Security Police's spokeswoman Kristine Apse-Krumina told LETA that the search was in connection with a criminal process on undermining Latvia's territorial integrity, which was started this past October.
The Security Police in October began an investigation into comments made by Linderman regarding his ideas on the autonomy of Latgale Province. He said that the autonomy of Latgale would be an appropriate step to counter efforts by government coalition parties which did not permit a referendum on automatic citizenship for non-citizens.
LETA also reported, Linderman has organized and participated in several demonstrations in past years. The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office issued an international manhunt for Linderman, who was suspected of attempting to violently overthrow the government of Latvia in order to change the political system and possession of TNT. He hid in Russia for several years, but was detained and eventually deported back to Latvia.
Later, he was put on trial in Latvia for possession of weapons and explosives, but was cleared of these charges.
Last year, Lindermans' association gathered the necessary number of signatures to call a referendum on making Russian a second state language, but the referendum was defeated.

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