RIGA - Prosecutor Maris Leja has been appointed chief prosecutor at the Division for Investigation of Especially Serious Cases of the Criminal Justice Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Until now, Leja was acting chief prosecutor at the division in charge of investigating Latvia's high-profile corruption cases. Its previous chief prosecutor Modris Adlers retired at the beginning of this year and two prosecutors from this division - Viorika Jirgena and Juris Juriss - applied to run for the vacancy.
It is not clear at the moment why the position of chief prosecutor was awarded to Leja who initially was not among the contenders.
In a statement released by the Prosecutor General's Office, Leja indicates that his priorities as chief prosecutor of the Division for Investigation of Especially Serious Cases will include speeding up the criminal investigation and prosecution processes, as well as improving the quality of procedural decisions. Leja also wants to enhance prosecutors' communication with the media.
Leja, who started his career as a prosecutor at the prosecutor's office of the Riga City Vidzeme District Court, has been working as a prosecutor at the Division for Investigation of Especially Serious Cases of the Criminal Justice Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office since 2005.