Justice Council to consider tougher punishments after president's criticism

The Justice Council will evaluate individual court judgments that have brought public attention with too lax punishments, after meeting with the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, who last week sharply criticized the work of the prosecutor's office, confirmed Aigars Strupišs, Chairman of the Supreme Court and Justice Council on July 17.

The President of Latvia last week, in an interview with Latvian Television, expressed confusion not only about the imposition of a €15,500 fine on Kremlin propagandist Marats Kasems for providing illegal intellectual and physical support to Russia but also about the conditional sentence for attacking a young man with a Ukrainian flag, even though the law also provides harsher punishments.

The President of the Supreme Court acknowledged that certain judgments were also on the agenda of the Justice Council.

"I do not want to speak about specific judgments at the moment, but there are judgments that have drawn my attention as too soft. It's about corruption crimes, it's about crimes against national security," said Strupišs.

On the question of when the assessment is expected, Strupišs acknowledged: “Our capacity is quite busy. I hope we can get on with it at the end of the year.”

The President did not comment to journalists after the meeting with Strupišs, but, through the press service, stressed that trust in the judiciary depends on the quality of the judgments and their merits.

"Public confidence is also influenced by the ability of the judiciary to explain judicial decisions, particularly in cases of sensitive and societal importance. […] Finally, public confidence in the judiciary also depends on the effective enforcement of court decisions. Enforcement of court decisions on temporary protection against violence is particularly important, otherwise, this instrument is ineffective," said the president.

The president will also speak on the policy of punishment and the work of the prosecutor's office on Tuesday, July 18, with Prosecutor General Juris Stukāns.


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