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Ceturtdiena 24.08.2017 | Name days: Boļeslavs, Bērtulis
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Foreign Investors: lack of independent investigation of Zolitude’s tragedy will impact Latvia’s trust level

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The Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia (FICIL) encourages the Latvian government to ensure a fully independent investigation into the Maxima Supermarket tragedy in Zolitūde of 21 November 2013.

It is the profound interest of both the Latvian government and society to avoid any perception that the expected investigative process has been either down played or set aside for reasons related to cloud the transparency that should be available to all parties. Failure to do so will reflect negatively on investor confidence, especially upon foreign investor confidence, says the Director of FICIL Linda Austere.

According to her, the investigation should be carried out by an independent commission charged with preparation and delivery of a report into all the circumstances surrounding the accident. The commission should also be required to present its recommendations.

‘In order for this to come about the Latvian Government needs swiftly to take the lead and set up such commission by devising a clear mandate, creating safeguards for its independence, establishing the necessary legal framework for its investigative powers which must include it being empowered legally to demand information from both public and private individuals and entities, and approving the first draft budget prior to vetting members of the commission,’ – she says.

Austere believes members of the commission should be chosen in consultation with a broad range of independent and respected individuals. The utmost attention must be paid to ensuring that no individual who has any possible interest in the result of the investigation may either have a hand in the selection of nor be a member of the Commission. No members of the Government administration should be part of it. FICIL suggests that the Commission should contain at least one independent foreign person who has experience of such matters. Commission members need to be paid from the State budget, at a rate commensurate with their professional standing.

‘Only will a full and thorough investigation satisfy the families and friends of the 54 people who died, those injured and the public at large. In many other countries when catastrophes of this nature occur, a report is generated by a Commission of Public Enquiry that is a minute-by-minute reading of what went wrong and why and what needs to be changed in the future. Latvian society deserves nothing less,’ – says the FICIL Director.

BNN had previously reported there is evidence of Re&Re attempting to erase valuable evidence in the Zolitude tragedy case. State Police provided false information about ‘some worker from Riga City Council’ cutting a heavily deformed support construction into pieces. Police representatives are unable or are unwilling to explain who exactly ordered this to be done or where the pieces were ultimately taken.

It should be added that this Monday, April 14th, there will be preparations carried out at the ruins of Maxima supermarket in Zolitude for this Tuesday’s scheduled investigation experiment.

Ref: 102.109.109.5782


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