bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 18.06.2019 | Name days: Madis, Alberts
LatviaLatvia

Maxima Latvija and Re&Re deny their guilt in Zolitude tragedy; call charges unjustified

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBoth Maxima Latvija and the construction company responsible for the collapsed building – Re&Re – do not agree with the prosecution on accepting responsibility in Zolitude tragedy, said representatives of both companies at a court hearing on Thursday, 1 November.

Kaspars Krūmiņš read the testimony on behalf of Re&Re. He explained that the prosecution said when submitting the case to court that the tragedy is associated with illegalities performed in the company’s interests. Krūmiņš told the court that «it is absurd to believe the collapse of the building was in the company’s interest».

Re&Re representative also said that the company does not believe construction supervisor Staņislavs Kumpiņš had committed negligence as he is accused of.

Maxima Latvija testimony was read by the company’s representative Elīna Stībele. In the testimony she read, Maxima representative repeated what was said previously by senior work safety specialist Inna Šuvajeva, stressing that employees of the collapsed supermarket acted in accordance with established instructions. Stībele also praised Šuvajeva’s competence multiple times.

Commenting on the legal responsibility Maxima Latvia may hold, Stībele referenced the 25 April verdict of the Supreme Court, which mentions that the collapse of the roof was outside of Maxima Latvia’s control. She also mentioned that the objective of having a fire alarm is signaling the risk of a fire, not the collapse of the building. She thereby stressed that the fact the fire alarm went off more than an hour before the collapse of the roof was nothing more than coincidence.

Stībele also testified that immediately after the tragedy Maxima Latvija started assisting rescuers and victims, as well as paid compensation to children whose parents died in the tragedy. She also said that Maxima Latvija has reached an agreement with 52 of 54 relatives of those who died in the wreckage regarding the payment of EUR 100,000 compensation to each family.

In the testimony Stībele repeatedly said that compensations were paid not because Maxima Latvija decided to take legal responsibility but because it took moral responsibility for the tragedy.

During the court hearing, the prosecution asked to read several pieces of testimony from Šuvajeva’s pre-trial process the prosecution thought was in contradiction to what she said.

Legal persons – CM Consulting and HND Grupa – also testified during the court hearing. CM Consulting representative Helmuts Kols told the court that the company does not admit its guilt, HND Grupa representative, the accused Ivars Sergets, said his company exercises the right to not testify.

At the end of the court hearing, the prosecution asked the court to announce a break to allow members of the prosecution to go through today’s testimonies and decide on future actions. The court complied and announced a break until 6 November.

LTV reports that Riga Regional Court had declined KPV LV member Aldis Gobzems’ side complaint regarding the civil complaint submitted by three victims of the tragedy against SIA Homburg Zolitude. With this complaint, Gobzems had previously appealed the decision of a first instance court to leave the plea with no attention.

This autumn, because of Gobzems’ failure to attend hearings, Riga City Pardaugava Court decided not to review the aforementioned complaint against SIA Homburg Zolitude. Gobzems appealed this decision, but Riga Regional Court decided nonetheless to reject the complaint on 16 October.

«The lawyer lacked the authority to submit a side complaint. A certificate of authority is a compulsory document in order to confirm requests are worth reviewing. Because no such document was found among submitted materials, Riga Regional Court decided to decline commencement of an appeal process,» said Riga Regional Court chairman’s assistant for public relations Raimonds Ločmelis.

Gobzems said he does not know the reasons why the complaint was rejected. He did say that the case will be submitted to court again.

As it is known, the court currently reviews the criminal case in regards to the tragedy that occurred in Zolitude 21 November 2013, when a Maxima supermarket collapsed, killing 54 and injuring several dozen people.

Construction experts concluded that the tragedy occurred because roof support load was calculated incorrectly. The prosecutor’s office raised charges against nine persons for violation of construction rules, negligence in work of officials, negligence that lead to deaths of several people and violation of work safety regulations.


Leave a reply

Latvian PM: If Estonia breaks deal on alcohol excise, we’re forced to respond

If Estonia has broken a deal with Latvia on alcohol excise tax, then Latvia is left to no choice, but to respond with a corresponding cut in excise, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.

Never too late to marry – elderly marriages jump in Latvia

Over the year 2018 in Latvia, the total number of marriages fell by 0.7 %, the number of marriages concluded by elderly population grew 1.7 times, data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia showed.

Eesti Energia suggests introducing customs tax to cheap Russian power

Estonian state energy firm Eesti Energia has proposed introducing a customs tax to electricity imported by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Russia.

Social care centre in Latvia blamed for severe human rights violations

Latvian Ombudsman’s Office has found severe human rights violations in the social care centre Ezerkrasti and accused the institution of not complying with recommendations to it. Ezerkrasti is a branch of the state social care centre Riga, located outside the Latvian capital.

Unmarried couples’ law to be proposed in Latvia

In the Latvian Saeima, this week, a draft Law on Unmarried couples would be proposed by the party alliance Attīstībai/Par!.

Glass fibre maker Valmieras stikla šķiedra files for legal protection

Latvia-based glass fibre maker AS Valmieras stikla šķiedra has on Monday, June 17, announced filing for the start of legal protection proceedings aimed at ensuring sustainable continuation of group level operations.

Summer solstice week to be warm-to-hot in Latvia

As Latvia readies for the traditional summer solstice and Līgo festivities in the weekend, meteorologists expect the beginning of the week to be warm and sunny, whereas in the second half of the week, temperatures could rise and rain could set in.

Trees worth two hundred thousand euros disappear in Latvian border works

Developing the Latvia-Russia border, in eastern Latvia, a protected natural territory has been destroyed and timber worth over two hundred thousand euros has disappeared, reported Nekā Personīga programme of TV3 channel.

Latvian MPs request Supreme Court to evaluate Prosecutor General Kalnmeiers

Latvian legislators have asked the Latvian Supreme Court to evaluate consistency of the work of Prosecutor Ēriks Kalnmeiers with his post over inactivity in money laundering prevention and other shortcomings.

Gynaecologists in Germany fined advertising abortions

A court in Berlin has found two gynaecologists guilty of advertising how they carry out abortions in their clinic, fining them two thousand euros each. A pair of anti-abortion campaigners had reported the gynaecologists' website ad to German prosecutors.

Week in Lithuania: MP Gražulis in hot water, heat-related water supply disruptions in Kaunas

Last week, Lithuania marked the Day of Mourning and Hope, outgoing president Dalia Grybauskaite delivered her last annual address, president-elect Gitanas Nausėda spoke out against taxing owners of old polluting car, but MP Petras Gražulis suspected of bribery.

BNN summary of the week: Waiting for new Culture Minister; Misleading by Supreme Court chair; bank watchdog overhaul

In the past week in Latvia, changes were announced in the Financial and Capital Market Commission, which will have new a management and duties. A substitute has been proposed for Dace Melbārde as the Latvian Culture Minister after her election to the European Parliament. The conservatives have picked Nauris Puntulis, an opera singer and current Riga City councillor, for the post. The candidate gave an interview to BNN on his priorities in the post.

IN PICTURES: Victims of Communist genocide remembered in Latvia

At the Freedom Monument in Latvia on Friday, June 14, there was held a ceremony to honour the victims of the Communist genocide against the people of Latvia. The mass arrests of innocent people were committed on the night from June 13 to 14.

Moscow sees U.S. decision of another thousand troops to Poland as sensitive

The Russian government stated the Russian army was closely tracking U.S. plans to send an additional thousand of its troops Poland as a deputy minister criticised the move as probably «aggressive».

Europol: Risks of Russian money laundering still exist in Baltics

In the Baltic states, there still exist risks for the laundering of money from Russia, said official from European police agency Europol, Pedro Felicio, who works on anti-money laundering measures in the body. He added that the problem is amplified by «zero cooperation from the side of Russia».

Data: 47.3% Latvian restaurants had tax debt over last six months

47.3% of Latvian restaurants and cafes had a tax debt exceeding 150 euros in the past six months, yet the total taxes paid by the sector have surged by 19.87% on year, data by business database Lursoft showed.

Latvian parliament in no rush to discuss Jewish restitution payment of EUR 40 mln

The Latvian Saeima has postponed the discussion of a draft law to compensate the Latvian Jewish community in the amount of 40 million euros for property confiscated by totalitarian powers in the mid-20th century in the then occupied Latvia.

Latvian Supreme Court chairman blamed for misleading PM over new court

Latvian Supreme Court chairman Ivars Bičkovičs has misrepresented to the Prime Minister the opinion of the Justice Council on the plan of a new economic cases’ court, says Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns. Two members of the council voted in favour of the establishment of the new court, while nine members were against it.

Latvian Health Ministry pushing for fairer competition in medicines’ market

Seeking lower prices of medicines for patients on the Latvian market, the country’s Health Ministry, is working on measures to improve access to medicines.

Approved: Latvian financial watchdog to have new management, more duties

The Latvian parliament has passed amendments to the Law of the Financial and Capital Market Commission aimed at strengthening the prevention of money laundering and terrorism funding in the financial and capital market.

Latvia cancels healthcare funding system of «two baskets»

People in Latvia will maintain access to healthcare services in the framework of mandatory health insurance by 2021 just as now, regardless of insurance payments made.

Estonia confirms alcohol U-turn to recover booze tourists from Latvia

As Estonia tries to recover its alcohol customers lost to neighbouring Latvia due to high excise duty, the parliament in Tallinn has passed a 25% cut in excise duty rate.

All Souls’ Day two? Lithuania eyes new national holiday

Members of the Lithuanian Seimas propose making the All Souls’ Day a national holiday in the majority Catholic Baltic country adding one holiday to the calendar in early November.

Lithuania's next President set to take bull by horns in tackling poverty

Lithuania’s president-elect Gitanas Nausėda has touched one issue – social exclusion and high level of income inequality in Lithuanian society – a lot more than all the others.

Latvian aviation can reach level of Sweden in ten years, says Transport Minister

The aviation sector of Latvia could by 2030 reach with increased efforts the level of Sweden in terms of passenger numbers, flights and cargo handling per capita, stated Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.