Senior official steps down after being denied access to state secrets

Interior Ministry state secretary Ilze Petersone-Godmane has lost the security clearance necessary to access state secrets and will resign June 8, reported LETA news agency.

Petersone-Godmane told LETA that her resignation had been “mutually agreed”.

Petersone-Godmane said she could not comment on the decision. "Of course, I respect the Constitution Protection Bureau’s decision, but I find it regretful that my 20 years of work in the law enforcement system has received such an assessment. Moreover, I have never been disciplinary penalized during all this time," Petersone-Godmane stressed.

Unofficial information obtained by LETA suggests that Petersone-Godmane’s current deputy Dmitrijs Trofimovs might succeed her as the ministry’s next state secretary.

Petersone-Godmane said it was too early now for her to comment on future plans but she did not rule out taking up a new public administration job.

Later PM Maris Kucinskis said that Petersone-Godmane will be offered a position within the state administration.

Previously LTV suggested the official had been denied security clearance due to her close friendship with Juris Savickis, the head of Itera Latvija energy company.

For example, she had been a guest at Savickis' birthday party which he held in Croatia. Savickis himself doubted whether being on speaking terms with him might really be the reason for not renewing security clearance.

In a past interview with LTV former KGB officer Savickis described the so-called "lustration" process in which the full details of collaboration with the former Soviet regime are put into the public sphere as "a bit silly" and a "populist and political move" that would achieve nothing - other than leading to more mass emigration.

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