Court reverses verdict in protested child abuse case

Kurzeme Regional Court has decided to fully reverse the verdict in the so-called Liepaja pedophilia case, in which two persons - a father and his son - were accused of sexual abuse against a minor, LETA reported on Thursday. Previously around 500 people had protested in Liepāja against the light sentences for the case. 

If this decision is not appealed, the case will have to be repeatedly forwarded to the Liepaja court, Zina Purina, a representative of Kurzeme Regional Court told journalists.

The fact that the paedophile pair received only fines and community service for a catalogue of abuse carried out against a young relative between the ages of 5 and 10 had caused a national scandal.

The convicted men avoided harsher sentences on the basis that while they had forced the young girl to commit numerous lewd acts, they had not gone so far as to rape her.

Kurzeme Regional Court decided today to reverse Liepaja court's verdict that was passed on July 13, and to forward it for repeated review at a court of first instance.

The decision was made after the court established that the first instance court had neglected a regulation in the Criminal Action Law, which lists specific cases when a court investigation cannot legally take place without verifying the evidence first, said Purina.

This means that if the appeals court's ruling is not appealed and takes effect, the case will be repeatedly reviewed by Liepaja court, according to Purina.

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