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Tuesday 19.02.2019 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna
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Five years pass since the Zolitude Tragedy in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe court investigation of Zolitude tragedy’s criminal case is progressing, according to the state prosecution. Wednesday, 21 November, marked five years since the tragedy, when the roof of a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people and injuring several dozen.

The state prosecution in this criminal case is represented by prosecutors Agris Skradailis, Kaspars Cakuls and Jekaterina Kušakova. Prosecutors believe the investigation has progressed considerably since October 2015.

Testimonies of hundreds of people, opinions of experts and construction specialists, as well as the accused were checked in different court sessions over the last two and a half years. The court viewing of the case has entered the debate stage of the investigation. Once this is done, the court will allow the accused their last word and then read the final verdict.

«Despite the unprecedented number of people involved in the case and the sheer scale of the investigative area, the prosecution has managed to maintain uninterrupted investigation, thereby creating an example for efficient work of the court justice system to ensure the best results in the shortest period of time,» prosecutors say.

«As for matters related to major turns during the court process and the punishment, we note that considering the stance of the state prosecution to maintain objectivity in upcoming debates and the verdict, no further comments will be provided,» as mentioned in the statement released by prosecutors.

On 7 November state prosecution announced that based on new discoveries made during the investigation of Zolitude Tragedy, it is necessary to change charges against the accused in the criminal case. Amendment of criminal charges does not mean the change of the section of the Criminal Law applied to the accused.

Since March 2016, when the court investigation had first commenced, a total of 438 people have been interrogated and there have been a total of 147 court sessions dedicated to this case.

Among the interrogated people are 254 victims, 158 witnesses, 12 experts, 9 accused persons and 5 legal persons. Several persons were interrogated several times during court sessions.

According to the court, there have been cases when people failed to arrive to court sessions when summoned, so it was necessary to bring them in with help from law enforcement officials.

The next court session is scheduled for 6 December.

On 21 November 2013 a tragedy occurred in Zolitude, when the roof of a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 and injuring several dozen people.

Construction experts concluded that the tragedy occurred because roof structure load was improperly calculated. The prosecutor’s office raised charges against nine persons for violating construction rules, as well as negligence in duties of state officials and violation of work safety regulations.


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