Latvian Saeima adopts tougher rules on origin of holdings in criminal investigations

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On Thursday, November 21 Saeima adopted amendments to the Criminal Law in the final reading, which would allow for more effective investigation of financial and economic crimes, according to information from the parliamentary Press Service.

The amendments stipulate that persons involved in criminal proceedings with have stricter regulations for justifying the legal origin of acquired holdings. If evidence is presented during the process that the holdings have been illegally acquired and the person being investigated is unable to prove the origin, then they will be considered proven illegal. The bill was drafted by the Judicial Policy Subcommittee of the Legal Affairs Committee.

“The right to defense will not be restricted. During the whole process the person has the right to hand in evidence of the legal origin of holdings whenever they wish and are able.” says Legal Committee Chair Juta Strīķe (New Conservative Party).

“This rule eliminates situations where a person dishonestly delays the process to receive government compensation for frozen assets,” says Strīķe. The basis for the amendment is to ensure that the responsible institutions can effectively conduct investigations regarding the laundering of illegally acquired assets.

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