Latvia closes child abuse case against former top officials

  • 2000-08-03
RIGA (BNS) - The Prosecutor General's Office closed a criminal case against former Prime Minister Andris Skele over his possible link to the pedophilia case on Aug. 1, citing false evidence.

The case opened in the wake of materials gathered about the possible links of Skele to the pedophilia case and was closed citing the lack of criminal action, the Prosecutor General's Office said.

The prosecutor's office previously decided to close analogous criminal cases against former Justice Minister Valdis Birkavs and State Revenue Service director General Andrejs Sonciks.

"Assessing, according to the effective legal procedure, all evidence, including testimonies of witnesses, expert conclusions and material evidence, investigation minutes and other documents, it was fully proved that all information provided to the [parliamentary] investigation commission about Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks was invented and does not correspond to the truth," said a statement issued by the Prosecutor General's Office press center.

It said the prosecutor's office continues investigation of the criminal case against MP Janis Adamsons that was opened over his statements at the Parliament meeting Feb. 17 about the link of Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks to the pedophilia case.

The parliamentary pedophilia investigation commission headed by Adamsons failed to give its materials over to the prosecutor's office even following several requests and the prosecutor's office received the materials only on May 5 from the National Security Commission. The three criminal cases that have now been closed were opened based on these materials.

Prosecutor Modris Adlers told BNS the decision on whether the prosecutor's office would request Parliament to allow to launch prosecution of Adamsons will depend on whether the conditions outlined by Parliament have been observed.

Namely, under the Latvian constitution, an MP can be called to responsibility in the event he or she has distributed libeling information being aware it is untrue. Exactly this will be the question the prosecutor's office will assess while making the next decision.