Eight years pass since deadly Zolitūde tragedy

Sunday, November 21, marks eight years since the tragedy when the roof of the Maxima supermarket in the Zolitūde district of Rīga caved in, claiming the lives of 54 people.

Only last year did the victims gain access to the full judgment of the court in the long-running case that resulted. It was one of the most extensive judgments in the history of Latvia, spanning more than 1,200 pages. The court found one person guilty, acquitting the other eight defendants. 

The court started hearing the Zolitūde tragedy case in December 2015. It recognizes 267 people as victims. It took the judges nine months to prepare a full court ruling on the Zolitūde tragedy. The court decision says that the building construction engineer Ivars Sergets violated construction norms, as a result of which the supermarket "Maxima" collapsed. He was convicted of homicide by negligence by the court.  The building that collapsed had previously won architectural awards and was notable for a garden constructed on the roof.

The victims and their representatives are dissatisfied with the court's decision and still hoping for a fairer trial. The judgment was immediately appealed, notably, both by the victim side and the prosecution. In early November 2021, the Rīga District court started reviewing the appealed case.

The victims' lawyer Jevgēnija Tverjanoviča-Bore told Latvian Television November 9: "None of the victims believe that in this tragedy there could be only one guilty person. Most have appealed the first judgment but there are also some who are tired of fighting, and people do not see a light at the end of the tunnel."

 

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