Rinkēvičs, Stukāns discuss sentencing policy in Latvia

On July 18, President Edgars Rinkēvičs met with Prosecutor General Juris Stukāns at the Rīga Castle to discuss policies for penalties applied to some offenders, the President's Chancellery and Latvian Radio reported.

During the meeting, the President of Latvia asked for an explanation of the Prosecutor's Office's considerations in individual cases regarding the sentencing policy and the criteria used in determining sentences, and how it is ensured that the sentencing policy in court decisions and prosecutors' orders is not contradictory.

"Public confidence in the prosecution's ability to ensure legality and justice is built on the prosecution's ability to explain its position in specific cases, especially cases involving sensitive issues of public importance. For example, in cases concerning national security issues and the protection of individuals from violence," said Rinkēvičs.

Stukāns said in an interview with Latvian Radio that he personally believes that the prosecutor's office should come up with proposals of explanations, “perhaps by imposing an additional obligation on the prosecutor to include more information” in the sentence statement.

Rinkēvičs had questions about the proportionality of the penalties in cases regarding national security in line with today's geopolitical situation. “I agree with this that the public can perceive it differently. We need to think about additional forms of communication, means of communication so that we can provide the public with the best understandable, easily comprehensible information so that the public has no doubt that the public has acted both legally and fairly,” stated Stukāns.

The Prosecutor General considered that all cases in which crime against the State was committed should also be brought before the court.

The sentencing policy and possible amendments to regulations will be discussed at a National Security Council meeting called by President Rinkēvičs.

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