New suspects named in store collapse catastrophe

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The State Police have assigned the status of suspect to the construction manager and supervisor in the case of the deadly cave-in of the Zolitūde Maxima supermarket, Criminal Police chief Andrejs Grišins told the press Friday.

The civil construction manager for builder Re&Re at the time was Staņislavs Kumpiņš and the construction supervisor Martins Draudiņš. Re&Re corporate lawyer Ugis Grube told BNS that he so far has not received any official news regarding this decision. Grube also said that Kumpiņš has not been working at the company for about a year now.

Both persons have been prohibited from leaving the country, and must remain under supervision of the police.  Also, they are not permitted to meet or consult with certain persons involved in the case.

Grišins said that the case will be handed to the prosecutor's office by the end of February.

A process has been launched against two other legal entities to impose restrictions as well. The court however rejected the request to arrest their property.

Re&Re told  BNS that the company has not received any official documents from law enforcement institutions regarding the above mentioned decisions, therefore it may not comment on them.

Currently the case involves five individual suspects as well as proceedings launched against four companies.

Two of the suspects - civil engineer Ivars Sergets and Andris Gulbis, a construction inspector who had examined the Maxima supermarket building, were released from custody after the court heard their appeals. The third suspect is architect Andris Kalinka, who headed work on the supermarket's design project. The assets of architect firm Kubs, owned by the Kalinka family, have been frozen.

Several successive roof cave-ins in the building housing a Maxima supermarket in the Zolitude residential area in Riga occurred on November 21, 2013, killing 54 people, including three rescuers, and injuring scores of others. A criminal investigation has been ongoing into the deadly accident which might have been caused by several factors, including errors in construction designs, neglect on part of the builders or the supermarket operator.

The shopping center housing the Maxima store was developed by developer Homburg and built by Re&Re construction company, while the design project was drafted by Kubs architecture office.

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