Scandal-prone Jūrmala mayor loses court case and position

On Friday November 26, the Criminal Affairs Department of the Senate left unchanged a verdict by which the long-time Chairman of Jūrmala City Council Gatis Truksnis (Green Party) and his office manager were found guilty of falsifying documents in connection with the business trip. With the entry into force of the judgment, Truksnis loses his mandate as a council member.

Thus, the judgment came into force, by which Truksnis and his office manager Ingrīda Vilkārse were found guilty in connection with the falsifying claims for a trip to Dauagvpils. A fine of 5,000 euros is imposed on the chairman of the council, and 2,500 euros on his co-accused. 

The Senate recognized that the defendants were legally and justifiably found guilty of the criminal offense charged against them. Namely, the accused chairman of the municipality, being a public official, used another official in falsifying expense claims for the business trip.

"This means that a false document has been created with all the consequences that follow from it. And in this regard, it does not matter whether such a document is called false, inauthentic, inappropriate, lying, misleading or otherwise; the determining factor is and remains the fact that distorting the truth of the document," a court statement to the media stated.

According to the law on the status of a member of the municipal council, the authority of a councilor ends when a court verdict convicting the deputy has entered into legal force.

According to Latvian Radio, Rita Sproģe (Green Party) could be nominated as the new chair of the council.

In addition, Truksnis will be expelled from the Green Party, its leader Edgars Tavars confirmed to Latvian Radio.

"I think that after this court verdict, there will be no discussion on this issue and there should be a clear position," said Tavars.

Following the verdict, which cannot be appealed further, Truksnis continued to maintain his innocence, saying: "I have never falsified anything, I have never caused any damage to anyone, and I have not done any harm."

It is far from the first time Truksnis has been entangled in controversy and legal action.

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