After evaluating the information obtained during the investigation, Latvian State Security Service (VDD) has changed the legal classification of the offense to a higher degree of severity in the so-called "Baltic anti-fascists" criminal case.
The group of people that carried out anti-state activities by using the messaging platform "Telegram" are being incriminated for leading a criminal organization and participating in crimes committed by such organization. Liability for such criminal offense is stipulated in Section 891 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Law.
This criminal case was initiated by VDD on 28 November 2022 in connection with anti-state activities and supporting the interests of the aggressor state Russia by using "Telegram" channel "Baltic anti-fascists" (translated from Russian) and other channels with similar content. At that time VDD initiated the criminal case pursuant to Section 811 of the Criminal Law, i.e., assistance to a foreign state in action directed against the Republic of Latvia.
Currently, VDD has changed the legal classification of the criminal actions of the so-called "Baltic anti-fascists" directed against the Latvian state, as information obtained during the investigation suggests that the criminal action was carried out within a criminal organization specifically created for this purpose. According to the information at the disposal of VDD, the mentioned criminal organization was established in November 2022 by at least five Latvian nationals, mutually agreeing on the goals to achieve, which included committing especially serious crimes against the Latvian state. In order to coordinate the pre-planned criminal offenses, the organization created the channel "Baltic anti-fascists" and several related channels on "Telegram".
Since its creation, the criminal organization has purposefully and systematically used these channels for various activities directed against the interests of Latvia's national security, including the illegal gathering of non-disclosable information and other information with the aim of handing it over to intelligence and security services of Russia and other institutions. The channels created by the criminal organization regularly publish calls to collect information about Latvian state officials, public administration personnel, officers of Latvia’s intelligence and security services, officials of the National Armed Forces, Latvian nationals fighting on the side of Ukraine, as well as other natural and legal persons who in their activities have turned against Russia’s aggression.
In addition, the mentioned channels regularly express support for Russia's expanded war in Ukraine. In the content published by the so-called "Baltic anti-fascists" VDD has identified calls to illegally participate in the hostilities in Ukraine, as well as to collect and transfer financial funds to Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
Within the criminal case, currently three persons are recognized as suspects and applied the security measure – detention. The status of a person against whom criminal case is initiated has been applied to three more persons.
VDD warns that the involvement in crimes of the criminal organization "Baltic anti-fascists" is subject to criminal liability. According to Section 891 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Law, for leading of a criminal organization or participating in committing of the crimes committed by such an organization, the applicable punishment is life imprisonment or deprivation of liberty for a period of ten and up to twenty years, with or without confiscation of property and with probationary supervision for a period of up to three years.
Information prepared by VDD
Illustrative photo, Pixabay