New building for Constitutional Protection Bureau to be built next to former Brasa Prison in Riga

  • 2020-02-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - A new building for the Constitution Protection Bureau will be built next to the former Brasa Prison in Riga, at 1A Upes Street, LETA has learned.

According to declassified documents posted on the government's website, in May 2016 the government of Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) supported in principle moving the Constitutional Protection Bureau to a building registered in the Land Register in the name of the Justice Ministry.

Justice Minister Janis Bordans' (New Conservative Party) press secretary Andris Vitenburgs confirmed to LETA that the State Chancellery had declassified the document following Bordans' suggestion, in order to prevent further speculation regarding alternative headquarters for the State Security Service, proposed by the Justice Ministry.

Construction of an administrative complex for the judicial authorities at 1A Upes Street is already under way. The complex will house the Constitutional Protection Bureau, Prison Administration, and State Forensic Science Bureau.

The Forensic Science Bureau is located in another building on Upes Street, but its premises do not meet the current requirements.

The Constitutional Protection Bureau is currently located on Miera Street, near the Great Cemetery, while the Prison Administration is located on Stabu Street.

Vitenburgs confirmed that, after the site was taken over in 2016, the Justice Ministry inspected it, carried out a dendrological study and prepared several site management proposals.

Several meetings with representatives from various public organizations and residents were held to inform them about the development plans for the area, Vitenburgs added.

The Justice Ministry has not revealed the cost of the Upes Street complex or when the project is to be completed.

In view of the situation with the new building for another special service, the State Security Service, Bordans at the end of January sent a request to Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) to convene a meeting of stakeholders in order to discuss an alternative solution proposed by the Justice Ministry - moving the Security Service to the building on Upes Street. Bordans' letter has been forwarded to Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV).

As reported, a decision to build a new State Security Service building at 207 Brivibas Street in Riga, in an area where Marss velodrome was formerly located, was taken back in January 2017, but the public only learned about the project this past January.

Meanwhile, a public initiative calling for preservation of trees and setting up a park in the former velodrome Marss area, has collected more than 15,500 signatures. The signature drive was launched "to prevent the felling of dozens of decades-old trees and to restore a public green area where the Mars velodrome used to be".