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Jurašs lawyer: due to statute of limitations, raising charges is no longer possible

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIn accordance with requirements of the Criminal Process Law, the prosecutor is required to launch criminal prosecution within ten days of receiving materials of the criminal case from an investigative institutions – in this case State Security Service. However, in the case with Juris Jurašs, the prosecutor received materials of the case on 8 January, but this term is already passed, says Jurašs’ lawyer Aleksandrs Berezins.

He says if the Saeima decides in favour of allowing Jurašs’ criminal prosecution, the prosecutor is no longer able to make the decision on prosecuting him, because the term provided by the law has already run out.

The lawyer explains he does not understand the prosecutor’s decision «if he knows it is written black on white that he has ten days to submit the case to the committee. Now that he has missed the deadline, he [the prosecutor] wants to do something. This is what I am confused about,» says Berezins.

The State Security Service confirmed the criminal process was submitted to the prosecutor’s office on 8 January.

As it is known, the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Saeima in which it is requested to commence criminal prosecution of Jurašs for disclosing and official secret.

Saeima’s Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee decided on Thursday against commencement of the criminal prosecution against Juris Jurašs. Discussins are planned to continue next week.

Deputies agreed to divide the meeting into two sections – a closed and open section. The closed section took place on Thursday, 24 January. It will continue on 29 January. A commission meeting will take place later. Jurašs will participate as well. The meeting will take place either next Tuesday or Wednesday.

After the committee’s meeting, prosecutor Māris Urbāns told journalists that there was a legal topic discussions about whether or not Saeima’s decision should be made within a specific term. He did not comment the matter in more detail.

Jurašs was critical about the plan to commence criminal process against him. ‘Commencement of the criminal process and restoration of the concluded case should be viewed in the context of Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers’ public statements, in which he said he is convinced I had ordered KNAB officers unofficially gathering information about him and his family and that I may be responsible for drugging his dog, breaking and entering his home, as well as denying him the freedom to enjoy hunting together with Guntis Ulmanis, Aigars Kalvītis, Juris Savickis, Guntis Rāvis and other influential people,’ stresses Jurašs.

In summer 2015, KNAB detailed then the head of LDz Uģis Magonis. KNAB was certain he had previously received a bribe worth half a million euros from Estonian businessman Oļegs Osinovskis for a procurement of used trains. The operation was headed by Juris Jurašs. A couple of months later he was offered a bribe worth one million euros to switch charges against Osinovskis. Nekā personīga programme reported at the time that members of Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers acted as mediators, whereas legal assistance to the Estonian millionaire was provided by Harmony member Andrejs Elksniņš.

Jurašs reported the bribe offer to then the chief of KNAB Jaroslavs Streļčenoks. However, no investigation followed. One year later, after he had already left KNAB, Jurašs complained about this to journalists. The prosecutor’s office commenced a criminal prosecution against him for disclosure of official secrets. The investigation of the fact of bribery commenced after Jurašs had already turned to the press – one and a half years after the fact. The criminal process was ended last autumn with no results to speak of, the programme reminds.

The fate of another criminal process against Jurašs had a different fate. In summer 2017, prosecutor Aivis Zalužinskis decided to conclude this criminal process. However, chief prosecutor Modris Adlers decided to cancel his subordinate’s decision and forwarded the case to Security Police.

Jurašs explains the situation the following way: «I think it’s one of the most absurd criminal processes to have ever been launched. The bribery attempt I had reported to the public was investigated by neither KNAB nor the prosecutor general’s office. A criminal process has been launched about this, but nearly one and a half years had to pass before authorities finally decided to investigate the bribe offer.»


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