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Latvian Saeima decides to permit commencement of Juris Jurašs’ criminal prosecution

Juris Jurašs/flickr.com/Saeima
With 73 votes in favour and 17 votes against, the Saeima has decided to permit criminal prosecution of Juris Jurašs from New Conservative Party for public disclosure of official secret.

BNN had previously reported that the Prosecutor General’s Office had submitted materials of the criminal case to the Saeima, requesting permission to commence criminal prosecution against Juris Jurašs.

During debates in the Saeima, New Conservative Party’s members tried convincing deputies that by deciding in favour of Jurašs’ criminal prosecution they support political persecution. Krišjānis Feldmans noted that at the time of the bribe offer Jurašs was not a politician.

Linda Ozola said: «Deputies and the Saeima do not decide the truth. We are about to decide if a Saeima deputy elected by the people has the right to perform his duties or not.»

Andrejs Judins from New Unity stressed that emotions should be tossed aside when voting either in favour or against Jurašs’ criminal prosecution. According to him, if criminal prosecution is denied, many question will remain unanswered, because Saeima deputies do not have access to full materials of the case.

Aldis Gobzems from KPV LV called Jurašs a «national bourgeoisie», rhetorically asking how he could afford an expensive house and cars, considering he as an operative «had a small wage». «Uncompromised rule of law means permitting criminal prosecution,» said Gobzems. Sandis Riekstiņš from NCP criticized the KPV LV politician for hypocrisy, whereas Jānis Bordāns called Gobzems a «wannabe national bourgeoisie».

Juta Strīķe linked the criminal case against her colleague to attempts aimed at undermining Krišjānis Kariņš’s government.

As previously reported, in summer of 2016 Jurašs publicly reported receiving a bribe offer in the criminal case involving the now ex-chief of LDz Uģis Magonis. He said the bribe was offered in exchange for changing the charges raised against Estonian businessman Oļegs Osinovskis from bribery to trade of influence, which would mean a milder penalty, too.


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