Suspected Rimi bomber accused

  • 2001-11-29
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - Latvian prosecutors have accused a detained suspect of the August 2000 bombing of Riga's Old Town Rimi supermarket. Leonards Butelis, 29, is believed to have been involved in the terrorist act, which left more than 30 injured and one dead.

Butelis is the first person to be accused in connection with the case, and officials at the general prosecutor's office are convinced they have found their man.

"We have evidence proving that he placed the explosives in the shop," prosecutor's office spokesman Armins Reins told The Baltic Times.

According to Latvian security police, Butelis is not the main figure although they say they have established his involvement in the bombing.

When it comes to further information, the security police remain tight-lipped as the investigation is ongoing. It is still unclear how many people could be behind the bombing or what their motives were.

Several suspects have been arrested, but so far police have not been able to make anything stick. More than 1,400 people have been interrogated as police have pursued four main theories related to business competition, competition between security companies, an act of extremism and the lone madman theory.

Butelis was detained by security police Oct. 24 when he tried to enter Latvia from Lithuania. He had already been on the police wanted list for quite some time.

Reins pointed out that Butelis is not thought to be the brains behind the operation, but he could not say how many people in total could be involved in the blast.