Businessman Zuravlovs faces criminal charges for calls against Latvia's independence

  • 2022-01-14
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Juris Zuravlovs, a business and former member of Riga City Council, is facing criminal charges for public calls against Latvia's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political system, which are made in an unconstitutional way, LETA was told at the prosecutor's office. 

The prosecutor has subpoenaed Zuravlovs to present him with the criminal charges next week. The prosecution therefore refrained from providing more detailed comments about the case. 

Zuravlovs' criminal prosecution was initiated by the State Security Service, which recently issued a statement saying that its investigators are looking into a person's remarks made on two radio programs. In these remarks, according to the State Security Service, the person in question made multiple calls against Latvia's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity.

The person also described the tragic period of Latvia's occupation by the Soviet Union as good for Latvia's residents. 

As part of the criminal probe, the State Security Service asked two competent institutions to assess the content of Zuravlovs' remarks. According to their findings, Zuravlovs' calls against the Latvian state and its sovereignty had been unmistakable. 

For such calls, Zuravlovs may face a jail term of up to five years, community service or a fine.

On July 1, 2021, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) decided to revoke the broadcasting license for Radio PIK station, owned by Zuravlovs' company Pikal un Partneri. The radio station was sanctioned for serious violations of the Latvian electronic media law, which included use of expletives, calls for war or military conflict and a failure to ensure plurality.