RIGA - The Constitutional Court decided on Oct. 10 to lift immunity for Constitutional Court Judge Vineta Muizniece so that the Prosecutor General’s Office could bring charges against her, reports LETA. The Constitutional Court’s decision will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office in three days, Laila Jurcena, aide to the Constitutional Court’s chairman, said.
According to the law, Muizniece’s authority as a Constitutional Court judge will now be suspended until the court ruling in the given criminal case comes into force, or the case is dismissed. The law also provides that a Constitutional Court judge loses his/her job if convicted.
Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers on June 1 started a criminal process for falsification of a Saeima committee meeting minutes against Constitutional Court Judge Muizniece. Muizniece was chairwoman of the Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee at the time.
The criminal process has been started in accordance with the Criminal Law’s Section 327, Part 1 - forging official documents.
Saeima Legal Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ilma Cepane (Unity) and Saeima Corruption Prevention Subcommittee Chairman Aleksejs Loskutovs (Unity) informed a press conference on Feb. 23 that Muizniece, who was a member of the People’s Party at that time, may have falsified a Legal Affairs Committee minutes in 2009 in order to stymie amendments to the Criminal Law that would have set criminal liability for illegal party financing.
Specifically, according to a tape recording, committee deputies had agreed to forward the said amendments to the full parliament for debate in the first reading. But the minutes states that the bill needs to be improved, altered, thereby halting its further course.
Cepane and Loskutovs revealed that the committee’s consultants have admitted that Muizniece had instructed them on what to write in the minutes. It was signed by Muizniece and MP Dzintars Rasnacs (All for Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK).
Muizniece called the allegation “political intrigue.”