Arrests made in Zolitūde disaster case

Latvian State Police said Tuesday they had made the first arrests in connection with their 15-month investigation into the reasons why a supermarket collapsed in a Riga suburb in November 2013, killing 54. 

“I can confirm that two suspects have been arrested but the investigation continues,” state Police spokesman Toms Sadovskis told LSM.

“We hope to close the investigation in around two months and then we will pass all files to the prosecutor's office,” Sadovskis said, adding that police had also asked a court to grant 'special status' to an unnamed company linked to the investigation.

“One of the other 'suspects' is a company. The court will decide if it will face punishment that could include liquidation or a fine of up to 36 million euros,” Sadovskis said.

Police refused to say whether more arrests were imminent but hinted that such a move would not be a surprise given the scope of the investigation into Latvia's largest peacetime loss of life.

Latvian media have named the two people arrested as building engineer Ivars Sergets and construction expert Andris Gulbis, both of whom worked on the project to build the Maxima supermarket, which won an architectural award before disaster struck.

LSM has obtained exclusive footage of Sergets' arrest by police.

 

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