No information is revealed on Meroni's criminal proceedings

"We understand the interest in this matter," but the State Police (SP) "cannot provide more information at this time in the interests of the investigation" - this is how Simona Grāvīte, head of the Public Relations Division of the State Police, responded to Neatkarīgā's questions regarding the criminal proceedings against Rudolfs Meroni, the former custodian of the seized property, which were opened five months ago.
18.01.2022. Uldis Dreiblats
 
©Vladislavs Proškins/F64

"We can only confirm that criminal proceedings were initiated last year and are being investigated," added S. Grāvīte.

So this criminal case against R. Meroni has not yet been quietly dropped, as other criminal cases directly or indirectly linked to R. Meroni have been.

In compliance with a court's side decision

The criminal proceedings in question were initiated on August 3 last year by Veronika Čuprika, Chief Inspector of Division 1 of the Organized Crime Combating Department (OCCD). The criminal proceedings were initiated in the execution of the Riga Regional Court's side decision in the Lembergs criminal case (it officially has two numbers - No 12812001408, No 12812001608).

On February 22, 2021, the Riga Regional Court handed down a summary judgment in the Lembergs case, at the same time adopting a side decision instructing the State Police to assess whether criminal proceedings should be initiated against Rudolfs Meroni, the former custodian of the seized property in the Lembergs case. According to the Riga Regional Court, the State Prosecutor's Office should assess whether R. Meroni had deliberately avoided complying with the court decision ordering him to hand over the seized property to the Provision State Agency.

The parties to the Lembergs case appealed against the judgment, but none of the parties appealed against the court's side decision and it entered into force. Accordingly, the Riga Regional Court sent the side decision to the State Police for execution in June last year.

A month and a half later, criminal proceedings were initiated in the OCCD. This is of course very closely linked to the way in which the Provision State Agency has been trying for 17 months to take over the assets seized from R. Meroni and has been unsuccessful in its attempts (read the latest information here).

Where is a fair settlement within reasonable time limits?

Neatkarīgā addressed the questions, which received the above-mentioned answer from the SP official S. Grāvīte, to the head of the SP Armands Ruks. The questions were as follows:

  • What has been the progress of criminal case No 11815003921 [this is the criminal case that was initiated in compliance with the Riga Regional Court's side decision of February 22, 2021 - U.D.] so far?
  • Is there already a suspect in this criminal case?
  • If so, has it been possible to question the suspect? If not, what has prevented the State Police from doing so?
  • If there is a suspect, is it Rudolfs Meroni? Perhaps the criminal investigation has revealed another person who has prevented Rudolfs Meroni from complying with the court's decision? Perhaps R. Meroni is a victim in these criminal proceedings?
  • If Rudolfs Meroni is the suspect, what is R. Meroni's stated motivation for not complying with the court decision of August 17, 2020, that ordered R. Meroni to hand over the seized property to the Provision State Agency?
  • Which of the following is more similar to the motivation given by R. Meroni for the investigation of the SP for not complying with the decision of the Riga Regional Court: a) he does not wish to comply with the decision of the Riga Regional Court; b) R. Meroni considers that the decision of the Latvian court is not binding to him as a Swiss citizen; c) he has a document issued by other Latvian authorities (e.g. Prosecutor General's Office, Constitutional Protection Bureau), which can be understood as a permission not to comply with the court decision; d) he is prevented from complying with the court decision by force majeure, e.g. the fact that there are no more seized property; e) any other option?
  • Who is the supervising prosecutor in these criminal proceedings?
  • Is the information reported by the media that the Prosecutor General's Office is putting pressure on the State Police to drop criminal case No 11815003921 true?
  • What is preventing a fair settlement of the criminal procedural relations in this criminal case within reasonable time limits?

Informing the public is detrimental?

The full answer of S. Grāvīte was as follows: "We understand the interest in this matter, however, the State Police, having assessed the information in the criminal proceedings and taking into account that the information has been requested for the preparation of a media publication, with a goal of informing the public, which at the given moment is detrimental to the interests of the investigation and may jeopardize the success of the proceedings, the institution cannot provide further information at this time in the interests of the investigation. We can only confirm that criminal proceedings were initiated last year and are under investigation."

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