Baltic states chief prosecutors discuss genocide crimes

  • 2000-05-25
RIGA (BNS) - The Baltic states prosecutors general met in Copenhagen,
at the initiative of Latvian Prosecutor General Janis Maizitis, to
discuss investigation of war crimes and genocide crimes, Prosecutor
General's Office's spokeswoman told BNS citing head prosecutor Rudite

The meeting took place because investigation of such crimes is topical
for all the three Baltic states but no concrete agreements were reached
during the meeting.

Baltic Sea states prosecutors general held their annual meeting in
Copenhagen earlier in the week. The meeting was joined by chief
prosecutors of 11 countries. Latvia in the meeting was represented by
Maizitis and Abolina.

Russian representatives did not arrive for the meeting and did not
provide any explanations for their non-arrival.

During the meeting the Council of the Baltic Sea States Commissioner
Ole Esperssen reported about a research on the place and role of
prosecutor's office in a country. Esperssen concluded that numerous
countries have insufficient legislation to secure independence of the
court power while independence of prosecutors is even less ensured.

Esperssen will send to the countries his recommendations on these
issues and this will be the key topic during the next meeting in

Esperssen spoke about independence of prosecution institutions from the
legislative power as well as from influence of the public opinion
formed by journalists.

The Swedish official admitted that media often announce people as
guilty even without a court thus forming the public opinion and
hampering unbiased work of a prosecutor.

The meeting also discussed protection of victims and witnesses in cases
on violence against children and women. The prosecutors discussed the
neccessity to ensure protection of these persons without sending them
to another country.