Rimi bombing investigation treading water

  • 2000-11-30
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - It's been more than three months since two bombs exploded in the Old Town shopping center Centrs. One woman, who worked close to where one of the bombs went off died in a hospital in Sweden, and Norwegian Rimi Baltija Director Knut Kvisvik was rushed to Norway with serious burn wounds. Se-veral others were injured.

The police quickly presented a composite photo of a man wanted for questioning, but that lead has now been dropped and so have the suspicions about another man in a second composite photo.

In mid-September, the police produced three more composite photos of men who could be linked to the explosions.

State police spokesman Krists Leiskalns said the Rimi investigation is off his limits and he could provide no information on the subject.

Kvisvik has returned to Latvia and is resuming his work. He said he's glad to be back, but full recovery from his injuries will most likely take up to a year.

On Nov. 22, Security Police chief Janis Reiniks said on Latvia's independent television channel LNT that it is possible that management at the supermarket Centrs is concealing something, and that it is possible that there was a warning about the bombs before the explosions.

"No it's not true, but I will leave it to the police," Kvisvik said. "I don't want to comment on police work because it could lead to misunderstandings."

So far the only public information available con-cerns the materials used in the bombs. Results of a forensic examination and two chemical analyses confirm the use of TNT.

In the meantime, the police are looking for three men believed to be linked to the bombing. The first man is between 1.70 and 1.80 meters tall and 40 to 45 years old. He was seen filming the bag storage area and the cash registers of the department store Rimi in the afternoon of Aug. 9.The second man, who was seen the same day, is 1.73 meters tall and 25 to 30 years old. He was wearing a short dark jacket and sportswear slacks. At around 10 a.m. he was using the elevator, and his behavior was reported to have been suspicious.

The third and last man is about 1.85 meters tall and around 20 years-of-age with pale skin complexion. He was wearing a dark sports jacket and blue jeans when he tried to leave a blue sports bag in the baggage check at Riga's central railway station in the afternoon of Aug. 17.

The police are re-questing the public to contribute any information about these three men. Anonymity is guaranteed.