National Bolshevik Beness Aijo given jail sentence for calls to end Latvia's independence

  • 2021-05-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Riga Vidzeme District Court on Monday handed down a jail sentence of two years and six months plus a year under probation to National Bolshevik activist Beness Aijo who was tried in absentia for calls to end Latvia's independence, LETA was told at the court. 

Aijo was found guilty of public calls to turn against the Latvian state and to end Latvia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The verdict can be appealed within ten days of May 31, when the court is due to release the full text of its ruling. 

In February 2015, Riga Vidzeme District Court put Aijo on a list of wanted criminals for public calls to overthrow Latvia’s entire economic and political system. Aijo was supposed to stand trial in Latvia but he fled to eastern Ukraine where he joined Kremlin-backed separatist separatist fighters. 

In July 2019, the State Security Service asked the prosecution office of the Riga judicial district to prosecute Aijo for illegal participation in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In the same year, Aijo was briefly detained in the village of Yarensk in Russia's Arkhangelsk region where he had arrived to support environmental activists protesting against development of a landfill.

Aijo now lives in Russia.