Fake news kingpin kept behind bars

The Rīga Regional Court on September 7 decided to keep Niks Endziņš, who owned swaths of websites posting fake news, behind bars.

Neither Endziņš, nor his lawyer offered any comment.

The court can review security measures applied to Endziņš within two months, if the circumstances of the case don't change and if the police don't ask for a speedier review.

As reported, on August 24 Latvia's State Police arrested 21-year-old Endziņš for spreading fake news which have disrupted public peace and the operations of companies and institutions, the police told the press.

The police also closed a number of websites belonging to the musician. A 15-year-old co-conspirator without a previous criminal record was detained as well. A minor, he was forbidden from leaving the country and handed to his parents.

The police launched a criminal probe after one of Endziņš' websites - redzams.net - on July 15 published a news story that the Alfa shopping center in Rīga had collapsed, with several hundred people dead and many injured.

The story, which quickly went viral, shares gross overtones with the real-life 2013 supermarket collapse in Zolitūde neighborhood, Rīga. It was the greatest single loss of life in the country following renewal of independence, killing 54 people and seriously injuring many more. 

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