Suspected homophobic attack in Tukums ruled suicide by police

The State Police has closed the criminal proceedings which were initiated when a 29-year-old man died after sustaining serious burns, chief of State Police Armands Ruks told Latvian Television November 1.

In April, LSM reported on a suspected homophobic attack when a man was allegedly set on fire. He later died of his injuries. In the initial investigation, police denied any evidence of homophobia-motivated violence.

Ruks told LTV November 1 that the man had self-immolated, as shown by evidence obtained during the investigation, such as recordings from cameras, fingerprints and traces of biological material on lighters and bottles of ignition liquid. At the time of the tragic event, the man had also been under the influence of alcohol.

“During a thorough investigation on 21 September this year, a final decision was taken in criminal proceedings and the criminal proceedings have been terminated because no criminal offense has been identified which would be a homophobic attack or related to intolerance or bringing someone to suicide,” the police said in a statement.

The police questioned 45 persons, conducted three surveys, 14 checks, including video and audio, six expert-examinations, experiments, as well as a series of other investigations, including special investigation activities.

The collection of evidence from the investigation shows that no criminal offense has occurred in this case. The State Police have obtained evidence that this tragic accident was a suicide caused by personal motives in the context of domestic relations,” the State Police said in a statement.

Consequently, following a thorough investigation under close supervision of the Prosecutor's Office on 21 September 2021, a final decision has been taken in criminal proceedings and criminal proceedings have been terminated. Such a decision was taken on the basis of Section 377, first paragraph, of the Criminal Procedure Law - no criminal offense has occurred.

“When there are cases that shake the public, everyone expects a quick and immediate result. At the same time, it seems incomprehensible to many why details are not being disclosed. I would like to remind you that investigating criminal proceedings is precise and specific work and cannot be public. Only when the investigation is completed or there are no circumstances preventing it from speaking publicly are the police prepared to reveal details. This case also publicly demonstrated the negative side of society in promoting intolerance, which actually bordered on hate speech,” explained Ruks.

 

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