Papa bear, or papa Berzins?

  • 2007-10-10
  • Andrew Liepins, Jurmala
I am writing you to express my indignation over Latvian Justice Minister Gaidis Berzins' reaction to the recent controversy in the legal system.
As you already know, corruption in the Latvian justice system was recently exposed when a local journalist published what appeared to be wiretapped phone conversations between judges, lawyers and businessmen in which they seemed to be pre-determining the outcome of court cases.

The justice minister's reaction to these offences is deplorable. Instead of raising an outcry that these sorts of things are actually happening in Latvian courts, he actually had the nerve to attack the publication itself! The justice minister said that he thinks the "purpose" behind publishing the transcripts was actually to undermine the justice system.  Furthermore, Berzins questioned the motives of preparing the publication in the first place, and the purpose of submitting it to the prosecutors' office in the form of a book (even though the transcripts were NOT submitted in the form of a book, they were submitted in their entirety, how could he not know that?).

By questioning the motives behind releasing this information, the honourable justice minister is in fact indirectly attacking the journalist who exposed the crimes. It seems that the justice minister is even questioning the purpose of exposing corruption at all, because it might hurt the reputation of the courts.
This is a very childish response to a very serious problem. The justice minister is approaching the problem by closing his eyes and hoping it will go away. Unfortunately, this response seems to be all too common in Latvian politics today. 

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