In the Latvian government's latest secret agreement, Environment Minister Raimonds Vejonis (Union of Greens and Farmers) on Oct. 5 signed a contract selling Latvia's greenhouse emission quotas to Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, reports LETA. The money received is said to be targeted at tackling climate change in Latvia. The Environment Ministry says the information regarding the value of the deal "needs to be classified." What is becoming common practice in Latvia is a trend to maintain secrecy in matters such as this, that "are material to the Latvian people," says one local businessman. How the money is used to tackle climate change "needs to be transparent to the public." Latvia has now sold 1.5 million Assigned Amount Units that Japan needs in order to meet regulations imposed by Kyoto Protocol. Latvia already received 35.1 million lats (50.1 million euros) from selling five million AAUs to Austria and the Netherlands earlier this year.
Both British citizens accused of beating up a Riga Municipal Police officer in Riga's Old Town on June 13, 2008, say they are not guilty, reports LETA. The officer was trying to break up a fight in a local establishment when he himself was attacked. The accused, Matthew Neale, 35, and David Birkinshaw, 33, said they did not beat up the police officer. The officer received several blows to the head from the intoxicated Neale and Birkinshaw, was knocked down and kicked. The victim, a 32 year old Municipal Police officer, seeks 1,560 lats' (2,228 euros) compensation for damages and 30,000 lats compensation for moral trauma. As the officer explained to the court, the defendants' actions subjected him to moral suffering and humiliation. He had to receive medical treatment for a lengthy period of time and, during this time, he could not work. The two accused Brits were on a stag party in Latvia ahead of their planned weddings.