Latvija in brief - 2006-08-02

  • 2006-08-02
Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, who was recently charged with several counts of bribery and graft, said he would not run in the parliamentary elections this fall but would restrict his participation to being the Green and Farmers' Union's candidate for prime minister. Lembergs said he would not run for a seat in the legislature as the two offices 's lawmaker and prime minister 's could not be combined. "Let somebody else run for Parliament," he said. He said that, if chosen, he would take his duties seriously. "I will take this as a huge responsibility. I will try to do my best in performing this obligation, this responsibility," said the Ventspils mayor. He stressed that the prosecutors' case against him was politically motivated, and named the Soros Foundation and the daily Diena among the forces trying to harm his reputation.

A teenage graffiti "artist" in Ogre was taught a lesson by a neighborhood vigilante, who snatched the aerosol spray can with paint from the boy and spray-painted his face and clothes silver. The teenager, who had been painting slogans on the walls in a stairwell of a multi-apartment building, was caught red-handed by a young man who lived in that house. He slapped the boy, took away his aerosol spray can and turned it on the "artist" himself. The Ogre county police said that the teenager's mom had complained about the attack on her boy but in absence of any bodily harm to the youngster the police suggested that she should take the matter in her own hands and sue the neighbor for assault. The police did open a criminal case and levied 50.7 lats (72 euros) in damages for costs associated with erasing the graffiti.

As many as 33 people fell ill after digesting food supplied by a caterer during a public event in Dobele county, with as many as three diagnosed with salmonella. Eight people were taken to the hospital after the event. An inquiry revealed another 25 people suffered from symptoms of acute intestinal infection. Gunta Legzdina, head of the infectious diseases department at Dobele hospital, said that it was more than clear that the caterer should take the blame in this case.

A Riga city court was to hear the criminal case against a man charged with making a hoax call about a bomb placed at one of the venues of the World Ice Hockey Championship in May. On May 12, the 26-year-old man used his mobile phone to place a call to the National Fire and Rescue Service emergency number 112 and said that a bomb had been placed at one of the ice arenas where the championship games were underway. The bomb squad had to search both the arenas in Riga where games were played. The defendant admitted his guilt, explaining that he just wanted to have fun.