Latvija in brief - 2004-04-29

  • 2004-04-29
The government's two special task ministers - Nils Muiznieks for integration and Ainars Bastiks for children and family affairs - have begun a program aimed at increasing naturalization of the roughly 15,000 noncitizens born since Aug. 21, 1991, by appealing to their parents to fill out the necessary paperwork for citizenship.

The naturalization department is providing information for the program and the U.S. Embassy finances. The human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, Alvaro Gil-Robles, highlighted the large number of children born after independence without citizenship an area of concern in his recent report on the Baltic state.

The Corruption Prevention and Control Bureau announced on April 26 that it has detained a prosecutor suspected of demanding a $10,000 bribe for withdrawing a state appeal. A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office confirmed that prosecutor Juris Pelss had been detained and that the prosecutor general had suspended his position. The spokesperson also said that the office assisted the anticorruption bureau in carrying out the operation. The person who allegedly acted as a mediator in handing over the bribe was also detained. The spokesperson said that the office would continue this "self-cleansing process" and asked people possessing information about dishonest prosecutors to report them to law enforcement institutions.