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Latvija in brief - 2004-12-22

  • 2004-12-22
A Jelgava City Council member allegedly assaulted another council member over a proposal to give money to poor residents in the area during Christmas. Viktors Valainis of the Zemgale Party reportedly attacked Social Democrat Janis Berzins after the latter called him a fool during a coffee break. The two reportedly shared a glass of cognac later that day in the mayor's office in an attempt to smooth out differences.

A father-and-son police duo was charged with demanding a 2,000 lat (2,900 euro) bribe from a suspect in a criminal case. The father and son allegedly asked that the money be placed in a locker at Riga's central train station. The two officers have been detained, and if convicted, each will face up to 10 years in prison.

A lawyer, Juris Marins, was detained for allegedly delivering marijuana to an inmate at the Ilguciems women's prison. Marins initially denied bringing the drugs into the prison but later allegedly admitted that he had passed along an envelope from the prisoner's sister.

Former MP Janis Razna was sentenced to 12 years in jail by the Zemgale Regional Court for murder, reducing the previous charge of aggravated murder. Razna was also fined 750 lats (1,100 euros) for the legal expenses of the sons of the woman he murdered, as well as 678 lats in court expenses. Marite Dreijere was found murdered in Mezotne county at the company Lielmezotne on Dec. 23, 2003. Dreijere had been shot in the chest, and Razna later confessed to the murder. At the time of the murder Razna was a member of the Mezotne County Council, but had at one time been a member of the national Parliament with the Democratic Party Saimnieks.