Latvian prosecution office refrains from commenting on the charges and the reasons behind the chosen penalty for “Russian propagandist” Marats Kasems. He is accused of providing illegal intellectual and physical support to Russia.
Last week the prosecution office announced that the prosecutor, taking into account the nature and danger of the criminal offence committed, the damage caused, the personality and property status of the accused and the fact that
the accused was in custody for almost four months during the investigation, imposed a fine of EUR 15 500.
According to the Criminal Law, the aforementioned crime is punishable with a five-year prison sentence, probation, public service or a fine.
When asked to comment on the chosen form of penalty, the prosecution office told the media that publication of information about the punishment on the website of the prosecution office, informed the public about the completion of the criminal case and punishment of a person for assisting a foreign state in an action against Latvia, which undoubtedly caused public interest and discussions.
“The statement did not reveal information as to what exactly in this case is so important and affects national security but the existence of which also influenced the choice of penalty.
It is not always possible to reveal all facts to the public in cases that attract increased interest from local residents and other countries’ security institutions, especially if national security-related topics are involved,” the prosecution office explains.
An order issued by the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding a penalty by which a person has been found guilty and punished for assisting a foreign state in an action against Latvia came into force on the 3rd of July.
Kasem’s detainment was performed in accordance with a criminal process for possible violation of EU sanctions. Later, however, the case was classified as aid to a foreign country in actions aimed against Latvia.
Between 2017 and November 2022 a Latvian citizen was providing intellectual and physical support to Russia for personal reasons and to gain material wealth.
The accused was aware that one of Russia’s objectives is strengthening and expanding its influence over Baltic and countries of the European Union. This includes targeting Latvia’s national independence, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, state power, state order and national security.
The accused completely agreed with the crime he was accused of and admitted his guilt.
Latvia’s President Edgars Rinkēvičs said after the publication of this decision from the prosecution office that “some of the decisions made by the prosecution offices in recent times cause many question”.
The Justice Council, meanwhile, will review the existing policy for cases concerning corruption and national security.
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