Jēkabpils murder case prompts discussion on stalking victim protection

The State Police were legally unable to protect the murder victim in Jēkabpils municipality, the police chief Armands Ruks said in a press conference on Wednesday, April 19. The tragic case has brought to light serious shortcomings in legal proceedings regarding stalking and threatening.

As LSM reported earlier, a woman was stabbed on Sunday by her ex-partner after over a year of stalking and threats not only directed at her but allegedly also all her female colleagues.

19 different criminal cases had been launched against the man, including a restraining order, but he was able to simply ignore all of that since the law does not allow for protection of the victim in stalking or threat cases, Ruks said. 

According to Ruks, a working group will be formed to propose potential changes to the law. 

Meanwhile, the police have found the car the perpetrator was driving. It was found near Ļaudona, by a forest and the Aiviekste river, so the police assume he might have committed suicide. Searches of the river and forest are ongoing.

The police also found that the man had been abroad but at that point he had not been announced internationally wanted. There had been a warrant out for his arrest since February 13 but the police could not find him. According to the police, he had been a loner and did not speak to his relatives, and was living out of his car.

Ruks said that the case was "loudly unforgivable" but that deliberate negligence on the part of the police was not observed.

Rusiņš has currently been listed as an internationally-wanted suspect. Police are calling on anyone with information to report his whereabouts but not to approach him. Police can be contacted via the emergency telephone number 112.

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