Subjects say scandal was hell

  • 2000-08-17
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - Chairman of the parliamentary investigative commission on pedophilia, Janis Adamsons, said after the close of the investigation that he was disappointed with the prosecutor's work.

"First of all, the prosecutor who researched Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks did not do his job properly," Adamsons said. "For instance, nobody revealed that there was a case against these three."

The Prosecutor Gene-ral's Office closed the pedophilia investigation against former Prime Minister Andris Skele, former Justice Minister Valdis Birkavs and State Revenue Service's director general Andrejs Sonciks Aug. 1 because of a lack of evidence. All information received by the parliament's investigative commission on these three has been invented and is false, the prosecutor's office reported.

Skele and Sonciks said Adamsons abused his responsibility in making the accusations.

Adamsons does not want to take any blame for the closing of the investigation. Rather, he accused witnesses for not being honest in their testimonies.

"All the witnesses have lied to the commission," Adamsons said. "It's absurd, they all have different nationalities and come from different social groups."

However, Adamsons predicted two possible scenarios in the near future.

"The first is to try and press criminal charges against me. Still, it is very difficult," Adamsons said. "The second is for Modris Adlers of the General Prosecutor's Office to announce that all the witnesses lied to the commission."

According to Adamsons, he has sent the prosecutor more than enough proof to convict Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks.

"Among the evidence are fivevideo tapes showing time, places, locations, people and cars," Adamsons said.

When pressed to answer more precisely when, where and who, Adamsons said he actually meant five video- taped testimonies. Still, he also hinted he had additional evidence up his sleeve.

"I don't want to show all my cards," Adamsons said. " I think there will be a new investigative commission."

Skele told The Baltic Times that Adamsons' speech in Parliament in February, when he named Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks among others as child abusers, was very unpleasant.

"I don't doubt that what he was doing was a crime," Skele said. "The legislation gives huge protection to the MPs, but along with that comes a great responsibility."

Sonciks said he would not wish it upon his worst enemy to go through what he did.

"I am most bothered by what my children, parents and wife had to go through," Sonciks said.

Skele criticized Adamsons' investigation and said he never had any witnesses.

"These people that Adamsons used as witnesses have all said how everything happened, and they have all said why they have done this to the country," Skele said. "They have all said that they don't know anything about this case."

When the news first spread about the pedophilia scandal in Latvia, the international press flocked to the feeding frenzy.

"I don't think that the responsible part of society ever thought the prime minister or the justice minister had done what Adamsons accused us of," Skele said. "But of course, what he did has caused great damage."

Sonciks said Adamsons undoubtedly has damaged the image of Latvia around the world.

"In my opinion, Adamsons has caused the greatest evil to himself by showing he can't solve a very serious question of children's rights without looking after his own interests and dirty little games," Sonciks said.

Skele said he is now willing to move on, and that he is looking forward to continue working in Parliament.

"The right wing coalition in Parliament has many fundamental tasks," Skele said. "We have a lot of work to do."

After Adamsons' February speech in Parliament, the then Minister of Justice Valdis Birkavs told media he would go on a hunger strike until Adamsons would present all his evidence. Today Birkavs just wants to keep a low profile.

Birkavs said he didn't wish to make any comments.

"I am not linked at all to this case," Birkavs said.

Adamsons still doesn't want the investigators to have the last word.

"Most of the MPs are not happy about the prosecutor's decision," Adamsons said. "They believed more in the commission."

Although Skele accepts the prosecutor's decision, he thinks some questions will never be answered.

"I think only with time, or maybe never, will we know why this was done to our country," Skele said. "I don't think we will never know who invented this story."

Sonciks is of the firm belief that MPs will hang Adamsons out to dry.

"Of course, MPs will vote for giving him over for criminal prosecution," Sonciks said. "In law-abiding states, which Latvia is trying to be, people like Adamsons too should understand they will have to answer for what they say and do."

Janis Maizitis, general prosecutor, is currently trying to shine some light on the situation. In a written request he has asked Parliament's permission to prosecute Adamsons for intentionally spreading insulting and slandering statements about Skele, Birkavs and Sonciks.

"As a result of these activities, he has caused considerable damage to the state and to the legally protected rights and interests of persons, causing serious consequences," reported a representative of the General Prosecutor's Office.

Sonciks said the most important question now is how to resolve the criminal case against Adamsons.

"I don't exclude the possibility of issuing a civil slander lawsuit against Adamsons," Sonciks said.

According to the General Prosecutor's Office, Adamsons' statements have qualified as a criminal offense according to Latvia's criminal law. There are also criminal cases initiated against those who gave false testimonies during the pre-trial investigation.