Riga Council staff and Maxima employee suspects in disaster probe

The list of suspects for possible liability in the Zolitūde Maxima supermarket shopping center roof collapse disaster was extended by State Police authorities Monday to include three staff members of the Riga City Construction Board as well as a former Maxima corporate officer in charge of onsite safety training and regulations at the store.

The authorities are also enforcing a coercive process against the Maxima company at which this person was employed, and the court has limited the company’s access to its own property at request of the police.

All three workers at the Riga municipal construction board are under suspicion of gross negligence in their official capacities.

Maxima representative Ivars Svilāns confirmed to Latvian Radio that the company has been notified by the police of its status regarding its accused employee and is assessing its options. As for the employee, she is under suspicion of having violated work safety regulations with massively deadly results.

The spokesman also affirmed that the company would continue to cooperate with authorities and help its accused former employee, no longer in the position in charge of the whole corporate safety policy at the time.

This brings the number of suspects in the case into the causes of the catastrophe to nine total, including two – construction engineer Ivars Sergets and consultant Andris Gulbis, who were held in detention before being released on their own recognizance, but banned from leaving the country. Architect Andris Kalinka is also under lighter police supervision with similar restrictions under suspect status.

Also under suspicion are construction crew leader Staņislavs Kumpiņš and supervisor Mārtiņš Draudiņš of developer Re&Re.

Furthermore, five legal entities also have the status of a suspect in the case, including two - architectural firm Kubs and the planning and design firm HND Grupa, which belongs to Sergets - that had their property arrested by the police.

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