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Saeima waives immunity of Saeima deputy Ādamsons over security suspicions

A vote of the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, on June 10 decided to waive the parliamentary immunity of long-time deputy Jānis Ādamsons (Harmony party) to help an investigation into whether he passed sensitive information to Russia.

The Saeima consented to allowing the potential search of Ādamsons, his places of residence and work, and his potential detention, arrest and application of other security measures. The vote was carried by 69 votes to 5.

According to unofficial information reported by LTV, security services harbor suspicions that Ādamsons has passed the information to Russia on some 43 occasions.

Janīna Kursīte-Pakule (National Alliance), Chairwoman of the Saeima Mandates, Ethics and Submissions Committee, said that the commission had reviewed a request from the Prosecutor General's Office's for consent to carry out searches and security measures pursuant to Section 85, Paragraph one of the Criminal Law: illegal collection of undisclosed information for transfer to a foreign state or foreign organization directly or through another person or for illegal collection or transfer of other information to a foreign intelligence service directly or through another person.

However, the deputy himself said he had no idea of what he stood accused and was not called to the committee hearing to defend himself. 

"I do not feel I have done anything wrong. Whatever the Saeima decides, it is difficult for me to comment on what I don't even know," Ādamsons told the chamber via videolink, adding that he suspected "Mafia structures" might be behind the move against him.

In a conversation with LTV, Ādamsons denied sending any information to Russia, saying that the only transfer of information he had participated in took the form of interviews.

It is far from the first time Ādamsons has made the headlines. In 1996 it was discovered he was carrying a loaded gun in the Saeima building, which led to a ban on firearms in the building.

In 2000, Ādamsons was temporarily removed from parliament as a result of his Soviet-era work with the coast guard, when it was argued that as a subservient service of the Soviet KGB he was ineligible to serve in Saeima. However, he managed to overturn this decision after pursuing it through European courts.

Then in 2011 he made comments about the supposed closeness of Latvians and Russians as fellow members of "the white race" that sparked controversy.

"I have always believed that as a part of the white race, we will find a common view, because we have a similar mentality," Ādamsons said at the time.

The Harmony party of which he is a member styles itself a "social democratic" political party.  

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