Latvia, Legislation

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Latvian Constitutional Court cannot dismiss Judge Muizniece yet

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 27.10.2012.Print version
Constitutional Court of Latvia Judge Vineta Muizniece, who was yesterday convicted of forgery, can only be dismissed from her post if she does not appeal the court ruling and the verdict comes into force.

As LETA was informed by Constitutional Court spokeswoman Lina Kovalevska, if the court ruling is appealed, the Constitutional Court will not have a legal basis to dismiss Muizniece.

 

According to the Constitutional Court Law, a judge is dismissed if he/she is convicted of a crime and the verdict comes into force.

 

As reported, yesterday, the Riga Central District Court ruled Constitutional Court Judge Vineta Muizniece guilty as charged for forgery, and ordered her to pay a fine worth ten minimum wages – LVL 2,000.

 

As LETA was informed by court spokesman Janis Jaksons, the full verdict will be available on November 8. Muizniece will then have ten days to appeal.

 

Prosecutor Ilze Gailite had asked the court to penalize Muizniece with a fine of 20 minimum wages – LVL 4,000, while lawyer Guna Kaminska had requested full acquittal. Muizniece denies her guilt in the case.

 

LETA also reported, last December, the Prosecutor General Office's Serious Crime Investigation Department formally accused Muizniece of forgery.

 

In June of 2011, Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers started a criminal process for falsification of a Saeima committee meeting protocol dated September 1, 2009. Muizniece then was chairwoman of the Saeima's Legal Affairs Committee at the time.

The criminal process was started in accordance with the Criminal Law's Section 327, Part 1 – forging official documents.

 

Saeima Legal Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ilma Cepane (Unity) and Saeima Corruption Prevention Subcommittee Chairman Aleksejs Loskutovs (Unity) informed a press conference back in February 2011 that Muizniece, a member of the People's Party at that time, may have falsified a Legal Affairs Committee protocol in order to stymie amendments to the Criminal Law that would have set criminal liability for illegal party financing.

 

Specifically, according to a tape recording, committee deputies had agreed to forward the said amendments to the full parliament for debate in the first reading. But the protocol states that the bill needs to be improved, altered, thereby halting its further course.

 

Cepane and Loskutovs revealed that the committee's consultants have admitted that Muizniece had instructed them on what to write in the protocol. It was signed by Muizniece and MP Dzintars Rasnacs (All For Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK).

 

Muizniece herself called the allegations "political intrigue".






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