Latvian police start criminal procedure over interception of Ryanair aircraft in Minsk

  • 2021-07-30
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvian law enforcement authorities have started a criminal procedure over the interception of Ryanair aircraft in Minsk in May this year, State Police spokeswoman Simona Gravite informed LETA. 

At the end of May, the State Police opened an in-house probe into the incident but later it was decided to launch a criminal investigation. 

The criminal procedure has been started based on the chapter of the Criminal Law about criminal offences against personal liberty, honor and dignity. Illegal deprivation of liberty, kidnapping and seizure of hostages warrant criminal liability under the provisions of this chapter. 

Police would not comment whether the investigation also involves international cooperating.

The initial probe was started because there were two Latvian nationals on the plane.

As reported, the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office launched a pre-trial investigation in the incident. The Lithuanian authorities interrogated some of the airplane passengers after the plane landed at Vilnius airport.

As reported, on 23 May, the Belarusian authorities ordered a fighter jet to force a Ryanair civilian flight FR 4978 to perform an emergency landing at Minsk National Airport so that an independent journalist and opposition activist from Belarus, Raman Pratasevich, could be detained.