Whistleblower 'Neo' asks president for pardon

Latvia's most famous whistleblower Ilmārs Poikāns has asked for the president to pardon his 60 hours of community service, he told the press November 17.

In late October the Supreme Court (the highest instance court) sentenced him to 60 hours of community service. 

He has called for pardon as he claims his activities were motivated by a desire to do wrong or personal gain. Poikāns thinks the public had the right to know about the things he leaked. 

"The public must know that whistleblowers will not be punished," he told Latvian Radio.

"As this case has far-reaching consequences and has established a dangerous precedent, especially to whistleblowers, the head of state has a chance to make it better," said Poikāns. 

Earlier he said he intends to turn to the European Court of Human Rights over the case.

Back in 2009 IT Poikāns, an IT expert, accessed the Latvian State Revenue Service's electronic data by using what he said was a simple security flaw, and showed that despite the financial and economic crisis in the country, there had been little tightening of belts among many prominent figures.

He leaked selected information to the press, using the nickname Neo, but was caught and charged with illegal downloading and disclosure of commercial and personal data.

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