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Wednesday 17.10.2018 | Name days: Karīna, Gaits

Minister refuses to meet with Vairāk saules restaurant owners; representatives dissatisfied

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Interior Affairs Minister Rihards Kozlovskis believes he has no right to become involved in State Police’s handled criminal case launched against Vairāk saules restaurant network. Because of that, he has decided to not meet with owners of the network and representatives of Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss this matter.

Representatives of Vairāk saules network say by doing this the minister is trying to avoid his direct duties.

One of its members turned to LCCI, requesting assistance in resolving the situation that formed in relation to investigative measures performed by State Police – the company’s inability to recover documents and information previously confiscated during searches and needed to perform business activities. LCCI told the minister that it is necessary to search for solutions to avert risks for the restaurant network’s continued function and discuss the possibility of amending some regulations in the process.

Interior Affairs Ministry explains that the minister values the support LCCI provides to Latvian businessmen by representing their interests in efforts to sort out the business environment. Nevertheless, the ministry notes that criminal investigations are governed by law, and the minister is not authorized to supervise the criminal process.

The minister also added that the judge who authorized the search details in documents the items confiscated during the search and their relation to the case. This means the judge is the one responsible for explaining what is and what is not important to any specific criminal case.

The minister has no reason to doubt if actions performed by the investigator and supervision provided by the judge over the criminal process were in accordance with requirements of the law, the interests of the national economy, and without unjustified interference in the company’s economic activities.

The minister believes necessary criminal procedure activities in the aforementioned criminal process should be performed as quickly as possible.

Representatives of Vairāk saules restaurant network say that the minister’s announcement regarding his unwillingness to meet with them and LCCI representatives means he is trying to avoid his direct duties, because it is his duty to assist in resolution of problems in the sector his institutions is responsible for supervising, especially if decisions made by said institution or their lack cause additional problems and threats for the national economy.

«The reason for the meeting was not ‘interfering with State Police criminal case’, but the question of how the ministry can assist Vairāk saules work appropriately and in accordance with Latvia’s legislative acts. Now that cash registers, mobile phones, computers, different data storage devices, as well as accounting, fire safety and Food and Veterinary Service’s documents have been confiscated by police, the company’s ability to perform its business activities is undermined. The company is unable to pay wages to employees, pay taxes and pay our suppliers,» says Vairāk saules co-owner Endijs Bērziņš.

He adds – for Vairāk saules to continue working in accordance with requirements of legislative acts, at the very least copies of important documents should be provided. Issuing copies would not impede the criminal process in any way. It would protect the company from possible sanctions of other state institutions. Nevertheless, this is not possible to do without cooperation with criminal police.

The company also believes the minister should serve as a mediator between society, including businesses, and the interior affairs sector. «Being in charge of an important ministry that can affect thousands of businesses and people, it is irresponsible to avoid resolving acute problems in the industry. A responsible politician should be interested in becoming actively involved in efforts to resolve problems in his industry, not search formal reasons to not do this,» the company notes.

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