Former police chief: detainee could likely escape due to negligence

The flight of the detained Mārtiņš Cesmanis in Rīga could have been linked to negligence of the police, said former Chief of State Police, associate professor of Rīga Stradiņš University Aldis Lieljuksis, Latvian Radio reported.

“Most of [fleeing cases] are related to the person carrying out the detention, who must ensure the convoys. Well, some negligence has been there, [the detainee] was not a sufficiently watched. But in this situation, it is not really clear under which circumstances – whether he escaped an ordinary car or from the special car where the detainees are placed,” said Lieljuksis.

He also said that, according to his experience, it was safest that the police officer cuff themselves to the detainee: “Then there is no fear that they would do something about it, unlock something [..]. Also, of course, all sorts of tricks are there that the person asks to use the toilet, and then it turns out there is a window open somewhere that they can escape. Unfortunately, these cases happen occasionally."

He also pointed to the previous criminal experience of the fugitive in Sarkandaugava: “He will use communications, opportunities to hide, but he must first get rid of the handcuffs. On the radio I wouldn't want to teach how it can be done, but those opening mechanisms are relatively simple.”

A service inspection has been initiated. Internal Affairs Minister Māris Kučinskis has asked Chief of State Police Armands Ruks to assess the situation.

Meanwhile, the police are still looking for Cesmanis, who escaped a police vehicle on Thursday afternoon.

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