It is believed that the voluntary combatant, having returned from military service in Ukraine, caused an accident under the influence of alcohol, in which a person who was driving a rented van was killed. The suspected culprit has gone to Ukraine again, and the investigation has stalled, LTV reported.
On November 5 of last year, a head-on collision took place on the Rīga-Liepāja highway near Saldus. The driver of the van was killed. Judging by the initiated criminal proceedings, the driver of the other vehicle, named Ulvis, was driving under the influence of alcohol and is considered a suspect. He had returned home on leave after serving in Ukraine.
Although a year has passed since the collision and the evidence against the suspect is strong, the investigation at the State Police (VP) has stalled because the suspect went back to the war zone in Ukraine after recovering in the hospital. He was not barred from leaving the country.
A woman from whose company the deceased rented the van on the fateful day is outraged, as it prevents her recovering compensation for the destruction of her vehicle. Since the case has not reached trial, the insurers are in no hurry to pay out.
"I can say from experience that it is difficult for insurers to receive information in these criminal proceedings," admitted Juris Stengrevics, a member of the board of the Latvian Motor Vehicle Insurers Bureau. "There are cases where they are simply refused by the prosecutor, but when we look at this particular case, at least from our perspective, it does not appear that the insurer has considered all options to get all the necessary information from the police."
LTV's attempts to contact Ulvis about the case via a social media account resulted in that account quickly disappearing.
Meanwhile, the State Police emphasized that the person who caused the accident was not banned from leaving the country.
"Mainly, in criminal proceedings for road traffic accidents, the strictest security measures are not applied, that would be – arrest," informed Madara Šeršņova, senior specialist of the Public Relations Department of the State Police. "The fact that the person is not in Latvia, in this case, most directly affects the progress of the process - in that case, the State Police cannot complete the investigation in it and transfer it to the initiation of criminal prosecution, as a result of which it is impossible to prosecute the person."
The representative of the State Police did not answer the question why this person is not brought to Latvia to be prosecuted.
Currently, 12 Latvian volunteers have officially registered as volunteers in Ukraine's armed forces, though it should be stressed that serving Latvian military personnel or those with a contract with Latvia's National Guard are not permitted to sign up for Ukraine at the same time.
Upon returning to Latvia, if found guilty, Ulvis faces a potential prison sentence of three to ten years, and the loss of his driving license for five to ten years.