Former parliamentary speaker slapped with fine

  • 2007-10-31
  • By Talis Saule Archdeacon
RIGA - Former Parliamentary Speaker Indulis Emsis confessed to having given investigators false testimony in a criminal investigation and paid a 5,000 lat (7,114 euro) fine on Oct. 26.
Prosecutor General's Office Press Secretary Dzintra Vitolina told The Baltic Times that Prosecutor Juris Juriss issued an indictment to Emsis for knowingly providing false testimony to the Prosecutor General's office in accordance with the Criminal Law's Section 300, Part 2. The former speaker was issued a fine of 42 minimum wages 's 5,040 lats.

The maximum sentence for the offense is up to five years in prison or a penalty of up to 100 minimum monthly wages. Vitolina said since the case never went to court, however, the maximum punishment is a fine of up to 50 minimum wages.
"The prosecutor looks at the unique circumstances as there are different cases for different crimes. People can give misleading evidence in different cases, and as a result of this it can be less or more dangerous for society 's as would be the case with rapists or murderers," she said.
She said that in addition to the special circumstances of the case, the prosecutor also looked at the personality of the defendant.

Emsis 's who at the time was one of the most powerful politicians in Latvian politics 's fell under suspicion after reporting the loss of a briefcase containing $10,000 in a government building last fall. When investigators found the briefcase in the hands of a waiter at the buildings cafe, it only contained $6,500. Emsis then changed his testimony to say that the briefcase had originally contained only $6,500.
Emsis claimed he had borrowed the money from an acquaintance to buy a tractor for his farm. Representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office have said that he was also being investigated for providing false testimony about the source of the money.

Local media has speculated that the money is connected to an ongoing investigation into corruption among high-ranking Ventspils officials.
Emsis was forced to resign from the position of Parliamentary speaker after a criminal investigation was launched over the affair. He said he regretted what he had done.