Latvian Justice Ministry prepares South Africa cooperation agreement 

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After the extradition case of Latvian mother Kristīne Misāne, the Ministry of Justice has prepared an agreement regarding judicial cooperation with the Republic of South Africa, according to Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns (New Conservative Party) on February 3.

He said the agreement would allow Latvia to monitor Misāne's trial in South Africa. The cooperation could possibly include Misāne serving her sentence in Latvia. Latvia will also ask South Africa to allow Misāne to have her trial in Latvia. The minister said that Latvia is currently doing everything it can in Denmark to have Misāne extradited for trial in Lavia.

“But to some extent currently it's an attempt to chase after a train that has already left the station,” said Bordāns.

Bordāns also criticized the Prosecutor's Office in regards to this case. He said the prosecutor could have taken over the case from Denmark earlier, but it wasn't done.

As previously reported, a Latvian mother is facing the prospect of extradition to South Africa from Denmark to face trial after fleeing with her children, prompting questions to be asked by LTV's De Facto investigative show about whether Latvia has done enough to represent its citizen in a complex international legal wrangle.

Kristīne Misāne formerly had a South African partner with whom she had one of her two children. They became estranged and most of the time the children lived with her in Mozambique, though the father still had right of access to his child on a regular basis. However, Misāne alleges that her former partner was violent and that, fearing for the safety of herself and her children, she fled with them to Latvia in May 2018. 

In doing so she violated the terms of her husband's right to see one of her two children and opened herself up to charges of child abduction, document forgery and fraud.

In December 2018 she booked a flight from Rīga to Mozambique, which borders South Africa, where she had been running a business for some years - a Kristine Misane is listed online as owner-operator of a "full service business law firm" in the country - but was detained in transit at Copenhagen airport as the South African authorities had put her on their international wanted list. She has been detained in Denmark ever since with South Africa asking for her extradition to face trial.  

Also reported, the Latvian parliament (Saeima) on January 16 asked its Danish counterpart and law enforcement agencies to help find a solution to prevent the extradition of Latvian citizen Kristine Misāne to the Republic of South Africa.

The decision states that the Saeima "shall request the Danish Parliament and the Danish law enforcement authorities to provide assistance to the competent authorities of Latvia in finding solutions to prevent the extradition of a Latvian citizen to the Republic of South Africa".

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