Latvia lifts citizenship from fugitive after Russian court goes soft on him

Latvian institutions have given up on trying to obtain a prison sentence for Germans Milušs, a man accused of bribery, as a Russian court has convicted him, albeit with a very mild sentence. He has nevertheless recently been stripped of his Latvian citizenship.  

Late in 2017, a Moscow district court admitted the Latvian court ruling that Milušs has to spend five years behind bars, in a Russian prison, for his role in a bribery case concerning the 2005 local elections in Jūrmala, Latvia.

As Milušs did not attend court meetings in Russia - not surprising, as he has a track record of escaping the law - he was put under an international arrest warrant following the court ruling and was subsequently spotted by traffic police.

He spent just one month in prison after launching a successful appeal, with the appeal judge quickly finding reasons to alleviate the penalty.

Formally, Russia has followed international norms, and Latvia doesn't have a chance to object to the mild sentence, a Justice Ministry official said.

"Sadly, we must conclude that there's nothing to be done here...as Russia accepted our accusations, and seeing as it's a different jurisdiction, we cannot get involved in them doing their job," said Ilvars Turkopuls, a representative of the Justice Ministry.

Latvian institutions also had to remove him from international wanted lists. Next year, when he will have served the penalty handed to him by a Moscow court, he will be able to leave Russia and there'll be no restrictions to him visiting Latvia too.

Milušs can apply for a Schengen visa, and the only thing Latvia can do is blacklist him.

But neither the Foreign, nor the Interior Ministry, both of which are able to take this step, offered comment over the possibility. 

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