Wanted: honest judges

  • 2012-08-12

RIGA - Riga Regional Court Chairwoman Sandra Strence and other court chairpersons should be intolerant in their actions and statements to judicial system crimes so as to bolster the reputations and prestige of judges, Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee Chairman Ainars Latkovskis (Unity) said, reports LETA. If court chairpersons clearly stated that criminals have no place among judges, it would help raise the judiciary’s reputation. Then-Prosecutor General Janis Maizitis set a good example several years ago, harshly reacting to a prosecutor being connected with illegal activities, explained Latkovskis.

There is no need for a new institution; Latvian courts should use their existing resources and turn against dishonest colleagues, emphasized the politician. “Judicial problems are no secret and the said case reveals nothing new or surprising,” said Latkovskis, pointing out that solutions to these issues should be sought immediately.
On Aug. 7, Corruption Prevention Bureau agents detained Riga Zemgale District Court Chairman Ziedonis Strazds on suspicion of aiding and abetting a crime and/or abuse of high position.

Strazds, however, is allowed to perform judge’s duties, said his attorney, Pavels Rebenoks. The allegedly crooked judge is accused of hiring fictitious employees for the court and then cashing in their salaries. According to the Criminal Law’s Section 318, Part 2, he is suspected of abusing his official position with selfish intentions. The security measures, though, ban Strazds from fulfilling the court chairman’s duties.

Rebenoks explained that he can continue performing judge’s duties until criminal procedures are launched against him.