RIGA - Saeima today supported in principle amendments to the Criminal Law, which stipulate that persons who purchase forged Covid-19 certificates confirming that the person has been vaccinated against or has recovered from the coronavirus, or forged Covid-19 test results, will be held criminally liable.
The amendments were prepared by coalition members Andrejs Judins (New Unity), Juris Jurass (New Conservative Party), Juris Puce (For Development/For), Raivis Dzintars (National Alliance) and Anda Caksa (New Unity) in cooperation with the State Police and the Corruption Prevention Bureau.
The legislation states that the number of Covid-19 deaths in Latvia is approaching 3,000. Vaccination against Covid-19, Covid-19 certificates and test results are currently the only tools to limit the epidemic and the main preconditions for the provision of epidemiologically safe services and epidemiologically safe working conditions, which are urgently crucial for the functioning of both the economy and public institutions.
Within a short period of time, the authorities have initiated more than ten criminal cases involving several hundred people suspected of falsification and use of vaccination documents, as well bribing health professionals for illegal vaccination certificates.
Physicians have also publicly acknowledged that they receive various offers from their patients who want to obtain a vaccination certificate without receiving the vaccine.
The Criminal Law stipulates that a person who offers or gives benefits to an employee of a state or local government institution, who is not a public official, or a similar person who is authorized by the state institution for performing some unlawful act, using his or her authority, may be sentenced to community service or a fine.
However, in view of the consequences that may result from the use of a forged Covid-19 certificate, the penalty provided by the Criminal Law is not commensurate with offense, believe the MPs.
In view of the above, the amendments stipulate that a person who offers or gives benefits to an employee of a state or local government institution, who is not a public official, or a similar person who is authorized by the state institution for performing some unlawful act, using his or her authority, may be sentenced to up to one year in prison.
The amendments also envisage adding a new section to the Criminal Law, according to which an unvaccinated person who presents a forged Covid-19 certificate or forged Covid-19 test results, or a Covid-19 certificate or test results issued to another person, will be held liable under the Criminal Law.
Persons who voluntarily report to the authorities a purchase of a forged certificate will not be held liable.