Latvian Parliament Allows Arrest Of Lawmaker Reportedly Suspected Of Spying For Moscow
June 10, 2021
Latvia's parliament has voted to allow investigators to arrest Janis Adamsons, a lawmaker from the Saskana (Harmony) faction who is suspected of spying for Russia.
A total of 69 lawmakers on June 10 supported the move to arrest Adamsons and search his home, while five voted against, and four abstained.
Media reports said on June 9 that the Latvian Prosecutor-General's Office had requested parliament allow the arrest and search. The specific reasons for the move remain unclear, but local media reported that Adamsons is suspected of spying for Russia.
At the June 10 parliament session, Adamsons denied any wrongdoing, saying that he learned about the probe against him from journalists.
Adamsons graduated from the High Naval Political College in Kyiv in the 1970s, when Latvia was a Soviet republic.
From 1979 till the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, he served in the Soviet Border Guard forces in the Far East.
After Latvia gained independence in 1991, Adamsons served as the commander of Latvia's border-guard service and interior minister.
Adamsons is a member of the parliamentary committee for defense, interior affairs, and prevention of corruption.
He is a member of the opposition Social Democratic Saskana (Harmony) party that is known for its policies defending the rights of Latvia's Russian-speaking residents.
Adamsons' eligibility to be a lawmaker has been questioned in the past by politicians who accused him of serving in the ranks of the KGB as the Border Guard troops during the the Soviet era were under KGB command.
Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Based on reporting by Delfi and Tvnet.lv
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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