Former Saeima Chancellery head accuses Murniece of distorting facts

  • 2020-06-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Former Saeima Chancellery's head Maris Steins is accusing Saeima Chairwoman Inara Murniece (National Alliance) of distorting the facts in order to have him charged with negligence, according to a statement released by Steins' attorney Dmitrijs Skackovs.

As reported, the Prosecutor General's Office said on Wednesday that it had handed over to a court a criminal case against Steins and former Saeima executive director Valdis Ziemelis, both accused of negligence. The case deals with premises at the Saeima building that were unsuitable for the Saeima National Security Committee's work.

According to Skackovs' statement, Saeima Presidium in mid-2014 removed security matters from the competence of Saeima Chancellery. In turn, the decision on Saeima premises for the National Security Committee was taken at a closed meeting in October 2014, which Steins did not attain, and neither was he acquainted with that decision.

After the Constitutional Protection Bureau concluded that the premises did not meet the National Security Committee's requirements, Murniece provided distorted information to both the State Security Service (then the Security Police) and the Prosecutor's Office in order to have criminal proceedings launched against Steins.

Skackovs' statement also points out that the charges against Steins are self-contradictory as they state that "the public official was not aware of the secret decision" and, at the same time, that "the official issued a wrong decree for the purpose of enforcing that same decision".

LETA also reported that, according to the materials in the case, two former state officials negligently performed their duties, as a result of which the re-planning of the Saeima premises, the aim of which was to make the premises meet specific security requirements, was carried out by companies that did not have the industrial safety certificate.

As a result, not only the interests of the political authority were significantly endangered, but also serious damages were sustained by Saeima in the amount of EUR 251,847, the prosecutor's office points out.

The court told LETA that the criminal case against Steins and Ziemelis would be reviewed on September 18, behind closed doors.

The criminal case was launched in 2017 after it was ascertained that the new Saeima building at 6/8 Jekaba Street in Riga did not meet national security requirements, then National Security Committee's head Solvita Aboltina said.