Latvija in brief - 2007-07-25

  • 2007-07-25
Hackers broke into the Latvian National Police Web site on July 23. The unidentified hackers left a short message that read, "Have a nice day." The National Police homepage is maintained by the National Information Network Agency, who promptly took down the message. Reports indicate that there was also a statement about the conduct of police at the massive Baltic Beach Party that took place July 20-22, placed there by a disgruntled individual who may have been subject to police action at the event. Police are investigating the case.

According to Latvian Defense Minister Atis Slakteris, the three Baltic states are planning to expand military communal purchases to cover armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and radars in the future. The three states currently buy only ammunition on a communal level, but maintain several joint military projects.  The Baltic states quite regularly agree on sharing the costs and supervision of their joint projects. The minister noted that while each state has different military needs, it rarely leads to "quarreling."

As the apparently unending parade of drunken-Brits-doing-stupid-things continues, a 23-year-old Scotsman was arrested on July 21 for climbing the steps leading to the freedom monument and lifting his kilt, exposing himself to passers-by. "The man had lifted his kilt and was flapping it," police spokesman Aigars Berzins said. The man was taken to a police station, and he is now facing a small administrative fine or up to 15 days under administrative arrest. In an unrelated incident, police found two grams of cocaine on two British nationals on July 21. The pair had come to Riga for a bachelor party.

The Baltic Beach Party, sponsored by Tele2, drew more than 62,000 visitors over the course of the July 20 weekend. Medics treated approximately 100 people during the event for a variety of injuries. Most of the injuries consisted of relatively minor cuts and bruises and cases of alcohol abuse. The majority group among the victims were teenagers who overused alcohol.  The director of the Center of Emergency and Disaster Medicine said he was shocked by the number of teenagers abusing alcohol. The number of people requiring emergency medical assistance in Liepaja during the two main days of the party were double and triple the numbers on an average day.

Regional Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Aigars Stokenbergs stated on July 24 that he has no grounds to dismiss Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs. He said that all information pertaining to any criminal activity the mayor may have performed while in office is kept in strict confidence by the court and the prosecutor's office. Lembergs has been charged with high-level corruption and is unable to actively serve as mayor, but has not lost the post. He spent nearly four months in Matisa prison and is currently under house arrest, but is appealing to have the detainment level lightened so that he can continue to work.