The prosecutor’s office has submitted a protest against the ruling of the court that has caused a major resonance in society. The public protest was voiced in relation to a case in which a father and son were sentenced to community service for sexual abuse of an under-age girl.
Aiga Eiduka, press secretary of the prosecutor’s office, reports that senior prosecutor of Kurzeme Court District Prosecutor’s Office has submitted a protest against the aforementioned ruling of the court.
One of the reasons for the protest is how soft the punishment is. Instead, the prosecutor’s office requests for the accused to be sent to prison.
In the middle of July, senior prosecutor of the Criminal Office of Prosecutor General’s Office ordered Kurzeme District Court senior prosecutor to assess the legitimacy of the sentence in which two accused men were found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to community service (240 and 200 hours, respectively).
Considering the major public resonance this case has had, deputies of Saeima Legal Affairs Committee plan to review regulations in regard to sexual abuse of children in the Criminal Law and the application of punishment for such crimes.
One of the aspects that should be viewed in relation to the case with sexual abuse of an under-age girl in Liepaja is the level of qualification of judges and prosecutors and court practice up until now when reviewing similar cases, as concluded in the discussion held by Saeima Legal Affairs Committee on 21 July.
Deputies and several Supreme Court judges believe this case can be classified as sexual assault, which is punishable by prison sentence from five to fifteen years. In addition, members of the committee concluded that the judge who reviewed the case had not completed training in child affairs. There are other judges in Liepaja Court who are qualified in this area, as reported by Saeima press service.
Deputies emphasized that judicial power is independent and Saeima deputies do not have the right to review or challenge the ruling of Liepaja Court. Nevertheless, it is the committee’s duty to supervise compliance with public interests and follow the progress of systematic changes that will prevent any similar cases from repeating in the future.
«Multiple inspections were launched following the Liepaja case. Prosecutors, judges and workers of orphan courts are now expected to demonstrate their knowledge. Deputies of the committee have ordered Justice Ministry to present a report whether or not it is necessary to amend the law in order to change the penal system. In addition to that, proposals for amendments to the Criminal Law submitted by Marta resource centre and the Ombudsman’s Office will also be considered in regard to cases of sexual violence against minors,» – notes Chairperson of Saeima Legal Affairs Committee Gaidis Berzins.
The committee has also decided to request the full text of the sentence in Liepaja case in order to review it during a closed meeting, so that it is possible to determine whether or not this case is proof of the need to amend the Criminal Law.