Court rejects Kazakov's claim against Emsis

  • 2006-10-04
  • From wire reports

GET OUT: Although Kazakov has been banned from Latvia, this hasn't prevented Emsis from decrying the Russian's intentions.

RIGA - The Riga Regional Court has rejected a claim by Alexander Kazakov, an activist for Latvia's minority Russian schools, against former Prime Minister Indulis Emsis. Kazakov, who was blacklisted from Latvia in 2004, demanded that Emsis withdraw his "slanderous statements" and pay 1 lat (1.4 euros) for moral damages 's a purely symbolic compensation.

"He accused me of acting as 'Moscow's Hand,' Kazkov told the Itar-Tass Russian news agency after his claim was rejected. "I just want him to retract his words."
The court ruling can be appealed within 30 days after taking effect. A full verdict will be released on October 3.
Kazakov's representative, Elizabete Krivcova, told reporters that her client would appeal the ruling after studying the court's verdict.

According to Krivcova, state officials must not act like this. "Such claims should be based on facts and not press reports," the lawyer said, commenting on Emsis' statements.
Meanwhile, the former PM has expressed satisfaction over the court decision, saying he was glad the judge was consistent and upheld the previous ruling.

"Kazakov accuses me of injuring his honor and dignity, but these qualities can be injured only if they exist," Emsis pointed out.
The former prime minister, now a lawmaker in the Latvian parliament, said he wished Kazakov would stop trying to garner personal favor in Latvia.
"We have different norms of conduct. He would have better luck doing this in Russia," Emsis added.
Kazakov's lawsuit was first heard by the Riga Ziemelu District Court, which dismissed his claim.

Emsis' remarks about Kazakov were broadcast on Latvia's TV5. The former PM claimed that Kazakov had been deliberately sent to Latvia to organize protests in support of Latvia's Russian schools, as well as promote information published in Latvia's Russian language newspaper, Vesti Segodnya. He added that the Russian State Duma was paying Kazakov for this work.
In May 2004, Kazakov was placed on Latvia's persona non grata list for his participation in Shtab, a radical and unrecognized anti-school reform organization.

While leading Shtab, Kazakov admitted to working, albeit as a volunteer, for the controversial Russian MP Dmitry Rogozin. Though Kazakov was born in Latvia, he left for Russia in the early 1990s and received Russian citizenship. Kazakov was issued a residence permit to stay in Latvia until October because his wife was a Latvian citizen.
Yet shortly after his wife died, Kazakov was black listed from Latvia. Former Interior Minister Eriks Jekabsons announced the Russian's expulsion during a special press briefing on Sept. 3, 2004 stating that Latvia could not "be kind forever toward a person intentionally bent on inciting ethnic hatred."

Kazakov filed a claim with Latvia's Supreme Court demanding to revoke the interior minister's order, and in February the court satisfied his demand. The day after the ruling was announced, however, Kazakov was again included in Latvia's persona non grata list.