Justice Minister Broka denied high level access

  • 2014-06-10
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian Minister of Justice Baiba Broka (All for Latvia! - For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK - VL-TB/LNNK), who found out on June 9 that she has been denied access to state secrets, announced at a press conference that she is not considering resigning, reports LETA.

Broka will appeal the Constitution Protection Bureau's decision at the Prosecutor General's Office. Any further action she will decide afterwards.

She stressed that she has not received any official information from the Constitution Protection Bureau according to legal standards. She found out about the bureau's decision only on June 9, indicating the bureau's letter was essentially placed on her secretary's desk, instead of being delivered as a registered letter, as the law requires.

She also believes that this was a "politically-ordered" decision, mentioning that "Unity's Dombrovskis and Aboltina knew from the start that 'Broka will not be given access.'" She added here that her "political achievements make her a contender to be seriously reckoned with."

Broka presented the letter to the press publicly. It indicates that access to state secrets was denied due to an article in the law which stipulates that persons, whose trustworthiness and ability to safeguard state secrets are questionable, are not eligible to receive access.

LETA already reported that the Constitution Protection Bureau decided not to grant Broka access to state secrets.

Constitution Protection Bureau Director Janis Maizitis informed Straujuma about the reasons why; however, Straujuma is not authorized to make them public.

"I will not demand Broka's resignation, she is entitled to appeal the Bureau's decision [at the Prosecutor General Office]," Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said.

Providus research analyst and political observer Iveta Kazoka believes that denying access to state secrets is enough to question Broka's reputation and her previous activities.

Kazoka called this matter "highly unpleasant" for her political party because "Broka [candidate for Riga mayor] after local elections was obviously the shining star on the political scene, and a favorite of voters."

Kazoka noted that such a situation would be problematic for any political party, with Saeima elections coming up. "VL-TB/LNNK will have a big headache trying to figure out how to 'position' Broka, now that the Constitution Protection Bureau has cast a great shadow over her."

Expressing the view that Broka should step down, Kazoka adds: "It is perfectly clear that a person denied access to state secrets cannot serve as minister of justice because he/she supervises the Constitution Protection Bureau, which in this case is impossible."