In July this year Latvian State Security Service (VDD) referred three cases to the Prosecutor’s Office to initiate criminal prosecution against three persons for activities connected with supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainians.
One criminal case was initiated pursuant to Section 741, i.e., for glorification of crimes against peace and war crimes. Not long after Russia’s armed forces invaded Ukraine, the person came to the attention of VDD for publishing comments on the Internet in which support for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainians was expressed.
Another criminal case was initiated pursuant to Section 78 of Criminal Law, i.e., for activities aimed at triggering national hatred or enmity. Information obtained by VDD during the investigation indicates that the person sent letters to the e-mail address of the Ukrainian embassy in Latvia, in which the person expressed blatant intolerance, hatred and aggression towards the people of Ukraine, including the Embassy’s personnel. Threats of violence are also recorded in the letters.
The third criminal case was initiated pursuant to Section 772 of Criminal law, i.e., for financing an armed conflict. The information obtained by VDD in the investigation indicates that the person provided support in the collection of financial funds and other property in order to hand them over to the soldiers of Russia’s armed forces involved in the ongoing warfare in Ukraine, whose activities are directed against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine.
Since the beginning of Russia’s armed forces invasion into Ukraine, VDD has initiated 22 criminal proceedings in relation to hate speech, while four proceedings were taken over from the State Police. From these 26 proceedings, ten were initiated pursuant to two Sections of the Criminal Law, i.e., for public glorifying and acquittal of genocide, crimes against humanity and peace and war crimes (Section 741 of Criminal Law) and activities aimed at triggering national hatred or enmity (Section 78 of Criminal Law). Eight proceedings were enacted pursuant to elements constituting the crime stipulated in Section 741 of the Criminal Law, whereas seven – pursuant to elements constituting the crime stipulated in Section 78 of the Criminal Law. Additionally, one criminal case was initiated pursuant to Section 772 of Criminal Law, i.e., for financing an armed conflict.
Until now VDD has concluded the pre-trial investigation in five criminal proceedings, referring the materials of the criminal proceedings to the Prosecutor's Office to initiate criminal prosecution against these persons. Within the other 21 criminal proceedings the pre-trial investigation continues and within these proceedings 16 persons have been recognized as suspects, while 6 others as persons against whom criminal proceedings have been initiated.
Information prepared by VDD
Illustrative photo, VDD