Latvian diplomat charged with distributing pornography in Belarus

  • 2006-07-31
  • By TBT staff
Diplomatic tensions between Latvia and Belarus remain high after a Latvian diplomat was charged with distributing pornography. Latvia remains unconvinced about the charges, and has demanded an official explanation from Belarus as to why the diplomat's apartment was raided by Belarusian authorities last week.

Belarus Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov said the diplomat, who has not been detained, was involved in pornography distribution.

"Pornographic materials have been seized from him. A criminal probe has been opened against the employee of the Latvian embassy for distribution of pornographic materials," the minister said.

"According to the information of Belarus law enforcement authorities, the Latvian diplomat had been doing this for a long time. But they could not identify him," Naumov said.

The Belarus Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that after it received a report from the law enforcement agencies, it would forward it to the Latvian Foreign Ministry.

Latvian Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks declined to comment the news until a later date.
The Latvian Foreign Ministry in a statement issued Friday afternoon said that Latvia still insisted on receiving official explanations from Belarus about entering the diplomat's residence.

"The Foreign Ministry has not found any facts in actions by the Latvian diplomat that would justify such conduct on part of the Belarus authorities," the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in the statement.

The ministry underlined that Latvia was interested in good neighbor relations with Belarus but "violation of generally accepted international legal standards in the given case does not indicate any intention of part of Belarus to act with responsibility within the international community."

The Latvian Foreign Ministry reiterated that it had handed a note to Belarus over the incident.