The recipient of one of Latvia's highest state decorations has been stripped of the award following his conviction in a criminal corruption case, the Presidential Chancellery said March 12.
"In accordance with the decision of the Chapter of Orders [the body which administers the handing out of state awards] of 23 February 2021, the awarded person, who has been found guilty of an intentional criminal offense by a court judgment that has entered into force, has been deprived of the high Latvian state award - the Cross of Recognition," said a statement, naming businessman Gūnars Bubulis as the individual in question.
The Chapter of Orders does not evaluate the merits for which a state award was once granted, and does not evaluate the circumstances of the specific criminal proceedings, but has a statutory obligation to deprive a person who has been convicted of an intentional criminal offense by a court judgment which has entered into force.
The Chapter of Orders said: "Receiving the highest state awards is not only a recognition of a lifetime's work, but at the same time a great responsibility to be a worthy bearer of the received award in the years to come."
As reported by LTV's De Facto investigative show in January, businessman Gūnars Bubulis was at the center of a bribery scandal involving municipal contracts in the city of Jelgava. In 2016 Bubulis received a fourth-class Cross of Recognition from then-President Raimonds Vējonis “for a significant contribution to the improvement of the work of the Latvian environmental and waste sector”.
The motto for the Cross of Recognition is “Pour les honnêtes gens” (For Decent People). You can find more about the history of the award at the presidential website.
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