After one year, the high ranking Latvian senior political matter official, who was convicted of negligence and caused three million dollars worth of damage to the Latvian state, is still unpunished, believes Minister of Justice Gaidis Berzins.
He mentions the 63 article of the Criminal Code and notes that the Laila Medina, who is working at the Ministry of Justice, and who was sentenced for a fine, would have no problems in receiving the post of the Deputy Secretary of State in political matters in the ministry managed by Berzins, Pietiek reports.
Medina was convicted as a state official in her negligence of the so called «sliced Swedish ship case». The Court found her guilty as then the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Department, and the head of the Legal and Treaties Division, in her negligent actions in that case and for allowing the partially decommissioned vessel, owned by the Swedish Swembalt AB Company, to be scrapped for parts on the Riga port territory.
Because of the actions of Medina and that of other officials involved in this case, Latvia lost more than three million dollars: several years ago the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal declared that Latvia has to pay this amount to the Swedish company, because by selling the company’s ship and pulling it apart for scrap, Latvia violated their obligations.
It is mentioned several times in the Court’s decision that Medina «whilst being an official, committed a criminal offence – negligence -, that is, she carelessly performed her duties as an official, and her actions caused significant damage to the state interests.»
However, the Minister of Justice Berzins does not see a significant problem in all this. He notes that Medina was transferred from the Ministry of Transport in 2005 to the Ministry of Justice, because she was eligible for the requirements, stated for that position, furthermore, the State Chancellery approved of Medina’s candidacy for the vacant position.
In addition to that he notes – the fact that Medina was not tried for the commitment of other crimes, she is eligible to candidate for the position of an official.
«As the Minister of Justice it is in my right to say that our normative regulation requires higher criteria for accepting people on the posts of high ranking public servants. I would like to accentuate that there are currently no restrictions, the most important criterion I used in evaluating the officials in my service – is the fulfilment of the priorities, stated in the judicial system. Namely, I have been evaluating and I will continue evaluating ministry officials by results: by the principle of fair completion of their objectives and the principle of effective time management when completing said objectives.»