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Criminal case opened against National Bolsheviks in Latvia

  • 2000-02-17
RIGA (BNS) - The Latvian Security Police this month opened a criminal case after a search of an office and the apartments of several members of the radical left-wing National Bolshevik party.

The criminal case was opened over the assault on the honor and integrity of law enforcement officers but other charges may be added to the case soon, Interior Ministry spokesman Normunds Belskis said Feb. 3.

The group has ties with the National Bolshevik party in Russia, led by the well-known radical Eduard Limonov.

No members of the group have been detained so far, but police are questioning suspects and looking for incriminating evidence. During the search several anti-state posters, leaflets and other papers were seized.

Security police head Janis Reiniks said they will probably need to interrogate up to 10 people to find out the exact circumstances of the case and gather enough evidence.

The police have asked for expert opinions on several matters.

"We believe their [National Bolsheviks'] actions lately have overstepped any boundaries of public standards. I have said earlier that we will be watching them all the time and punish them as soon as they commit any offenses," Reiniks said.

Last November the Security Police gathered materials against the National Bolsheviks for violation of rules governing initiation of activities by a public organization and handed them over to the municipal police.

The court, however, decided that the defendant in the case, Valdimir Linderman, who is a formal leader of the radical group, cannot be recognized as the head or authorized representative of the National Bolsheviks, and should be released.

There have been several incidents between the National Bolsheviks and Latvian law enforcement officers, including late last summer when seven members of the group were detained in the backyard of a house in Riga.