Fake news kingpin found guilty of inciting ethnic hatred

The Collegiate of Criminal Justice of Riga District Court found Niks Endziņš guilty of inciting ethnic hatred in connection with his entries on Facebook to "eliminate the Chinese", LETA reported November 4.

Endziņš was already found guilty of this offense by the district court, but the judgment was appealed.

The Court said that the judgment of April 26 of the Rīga City Latgale district Court was left unchanged, in which Niks Endziņš was found guilty of committing a criminal offense provided for in the second paragraph of Section 78 of the Criminal Law, namely the incitement of ethnic hatred. However, the Collegiate acquitted him of the previous accusation of hooliganism.

Endziņš has been sentenced to six months' imprisonment. 

Niks Endziņš was detained by the State Police at the end of January 2020 – after he falsely claimed that a woman infected with a dangerous virus had arrived in Latvia from China and had traveled through Riga to the hospital in public transport. The video also featured hate-ridden statements towards Chinese people. 

It is not the first time that Endziņš has fallen foul of his appetite for passing off bad-taste fantasy as breaking news.

As previously reported by LSM, in 2018 State Police arrested him for spreading fake news that disrupted public peace and the operations of companies and institutions. The police launched a criminal probe after one of Endziņš' websites - redzams.net - on July 15 2018 published a news story that the Alfa shopping center in Rīga had collapsed, with several hundred people dead and many injured. No such collpase had taken place, the whole thing being a sick fiction based on the all-too-real collapse of a supermarket in the Zolitūde suburb of Rīga in 2013.

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