Court upholds verdict against Adamsons

  • 2007-02-21
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling against former MP Janis Adamsons for his role in instigating the so-called pedophile scandal in 2000, one of the ugliest controversies in the Baltic states' post-Soviet independence. The court ruled on Feb. 19 that Adamsons will have to pay a fine amounting to 10,400 lats (14,800 euros) 's or 130 minimal monthly wages at the time of the lower court's ruling 's that was imposed by the Riga District Court.

The Supreme Court's ruling is final. Responding to the court's decision, Adamsons, who was not allowed to argue his case to the court in spoken form, said he would appeal to the Constitutional Court and maybe even the European Court of Human Rights.
"I do not have any illusions left concerning our court system," he was quoted as saying by Baltic News Service. Adamsons was found guilty of slander when, speaking from the podium in the nation's parliament in February 2000, he revealed the names of three top politicians who were allegedly being investigated for having sexual relationships with underage persons. The announcement came after the reported break-up of a child pornography ring in 1999, in which the culprits claimed that a group of top officials was using sexual services from minors.

Adamsons, who was chairman of the investigative committee that probed the claims, named three individuals at the time 's the then Prime Minister Andris Skele, Justice Minister Valdis Birkavs and State Revenue Service director Andrejs Sonicks.
All three named were from different ruling parties, while Adamsons was a member of the opposition Social Democratic Party.
Reaction from those named was vociferous, with Birkavs even going on a hunger strike.
Sonicks lashed out at Adamsons, saying, "In the old days, a person would have been challenged to a duel and stabbed to death for such defamatory accusations."

Other members of the investigative ad hoc committee also castigated Adamsons.
The accusations triggered a months-long scandal that never left the headline reports of the Latvian media.
Adamsons' political career was destroyed by the incident. Initially Parliament refused to lift his immunity, but after he lost his MP mandate prosecutors began investigating his actions, including his past with the KGB. Eventually Adamsons, who had served as interior minister in the 1990s, was barred from holding public office due to his past with the Soviet secret service.