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Wednesday 16.10.2019 | Name days: Daiga, Dinija
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Judicial investigation concludes in Zolitude Maxima tragedy’s trial

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga City Pārdaugava Court has finished the judicial investigation in the massive Zolitude Maxima tragedy’s criminal case. The court announced that the debates on the case will commence 11 June.

The prosecutor’s office initially asked the court for three months to prepare for debates, justifying the request with the size of the case and the number of people involved in it.

Commenting the court’s decision to provide two months for preparations, prosecutor Agris Skradailis says there is no choice but to comply.

Court debates represent one of the final stages for the review of the case. The law states that the prosecutor is the first to open court debates with a speech, followed by the victim, the accused and their defence. The prosecutor explains reasons for accusations raised against the accused and states the preferred penalty. The length of debates is not limited. After debates, all participants are allowed to provide one more comment on debated topics. Once debates are done, the accused is asked to provide their final words.

If during court debates participants provide any new information related to evidence not reviewed during the hearing, the court may decide to re-open the investigation. Once the investigation is over, debates begin anew. Once the accused has given their final words, the judge leaves to prepare the verdict.

During this court hearing, additional testimony was submitted by construction company Re&Re construction process supervisor Staņislavs Kumpiņš, who once again denied his guilt and said he still does not understand the charges raised against him.

In his testimony, Kumpiņš stressed that he had complied with all regulations and had performed his duties honestly and fully. After his testimony was done he refused to answer questions. Additionally, four reports on his personality were added to materials of the case.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on 11 June.

The case itself revolves around the 21 November 2013 tragedy that took place in Zolitude, when the roof of a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 people and injuring many dozen.

Construction experts concluded that the tragedy happened because of poorly calculated load of roof supports. The prosecutor’s office presented charges to nine persons for violating construction rules, negligence of official’s duties, carelessness that lead to death of another and violation of work safety regulations.

Charges have been raised against five people for violating construction regulations, which resulted in the collapse of a portion of the building, causing serious damages.

The accused in the criminal case include the building’s construction engineer Ivars Sergets, the expert who performed the building’s construction quality examination Andris Gulbis, construction supervisor Mārtiņš Draudiņš, as well as architect Andris Kalinka and Re&Re construction process supervisor Staņislavs Kumpiņš.

Additionally, the prosecutor’s office also accuses Sergets, Gulbis, Draudiņš, Kalinka and Kumpiņš of causing death by accident. Three Riga Construction Office workers – Jānis Balodis, Legal Affairs Office Construction Supervision Office Marika Treija and Construction Inspectorate deputy chief Aija Meļņikova – are accused of negligence of their duties that led to serious damages.

Balodis and Treija no longer work at the construction supervision office. Maxima worker Inna Šuvajeva is also among the accused.


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