Chief of Estonia's State Audit Office Mihkel Oviir and the chairman of the Russian Federal Accounts Office, Sergei Stepashin, have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two nations' audit agencies. The document was signed during Oviir's official visit to Moscow last week. The chief studied the work of the Russian federal audit agency, its relations with Parliament and the government, as well as its control over the state budget. Oviir and Stepashin discussed possibilities in solving customs-related problems and fighting against corruption and money-laundering.
In Latvia, an 11-year-old boy made a call claiming that he placed a bomb at the Liepaja State Fire and Rescue Service. The boy said that he made the call just to test a cell phone his father gave him. Jolanta Knise, a spokeswoman for the Liepaja municipal police, said the boy likely was unaware of the seriousness of his actions, although his parents had informed him about the consequences of such calls. Since the boy is only 14, he cannot be prosecuted, and his parents will have to take responsibility for the hoax. They face an official warning or a 25-50 lats (35-70 euros) fine for not preventing the boy from making the call. The hoax disrupted the work of the fire and rescue service for an hour.
The Riga Regional Court overturned a sentence on Kaspars Ribens, who made a hoax bomb threat during the 2006 World Ice-Hockey Championship last May, replacing his jail term with 200 hours of community service. In early August, the Riga City Vidzeme District Court sentenced Ribens, 26, to an undecided prison term. Ribens appealed the ruling after being arrested in court. The Riga Regional Court decided to release Ribens, sentencing him to 200 hours of community service. The court considered the fact that the defendant had become a father, and that the child's mother was supporting the baby on state welfare. On May 12, Ribens used his mobile phone to call to the National Fire and Rescue Service, saying a bomb had been placed at one of the tournament's hockey arenas.