There was an radio interview with the incumbent Latvian PM this morning. Most of the questions concerned, rather obviously, the delicate situation in the Latvian judicial system. Mr Aigars Kalvītis public speech skills have not improved, and since the daparture of Jurģis Liepnieks as the head of the PM's bureau, the PM's negative public relations stunts have become customary.
Instead of dimplomatically trying to avoid sensitive questions and honestly admiting that there are problems in the judicial system, PM tried the old fashioned tactics of an offence. PM simply stated that the biggest issue for the Latvian government now, is to find who masterminded the recordings of prominent barrister Mr. Grūtups. For Gods sake, you must be crazy to say that prime minister, while seeing how low the approval ratings of most of government branches among Latvian public are! Last Friday PM announced that he would not comment on the authenticity of tapped telephone recordings prior General Prosecutors Office has made its conclusion of the investigation. Now, totally opposite to his own words, Aigars Kalvītis tries to find conspirators against prominent barrister, because "according to his knowldge Mr Grūtups is a good barrister indeed, if he has not lost a court case throughout last decade". Mr Kalvītis even proposes to convene the emergency session of the State Security Council. To me it seems that Mr Grūtups is not only personal barrister of the former PM Mr Andris Šķēle, but he is a person who is simply above the law.
In the similar vein also the head of the Latvian Lawyers Asociation, Mr Aigars Borovkovs in the best KGB style, asked not for investigating substance of the whole issue, but asked to look for the reasons why did tapped recordings leak to the press, and, who is behind illegal recordings. It means that whilst following the best governance practices of the totalitarian regime, the Latvian elite is not even interested about the substance of the problem, but about the mode of leaking it out of the "governing bubble" instead, sad... It reminds me the police state methods, and the Latvian Sworn Barristers Association representative Ms Guna Kaminska is no better. In her interview to the LNT TV station she simply dismissed the allegations as baloney. She assumes, that even if those telephone converstaions were tapped, it took place seven years ago, thus the legal principle of time delay works, and noone could possible face charges for that. The high point of legal nihilism, indeed! By the way, and what about the prominent inscription above the grand hall in the Council of Ministers "Viens likums, viena taisnība visiem" ("Nobody is above the law")?
Mr Grūtups has started to change his official pronouncements as well. On Friday, in his customary omniscience, Mr Grūtups rather foolishly announced that those recordings are not correct. On Monday, when the "Home made adjudication" started to have its snowbaling effect, Mr Grūtups changed the tack and announced that those tapped records are fake and he has nothing to do with them. Is the "super-barrister" painted himself into the corner now, or simply letting the public opinion to steam off and discredit the whole Latvian legal system, thus gaining points for winning autumns biggest court case - the digital TV affair (Latvia vs. Kempmayer Ltd. (former PM Šķēle)?
Whatever the strategy of the barrister who appears above the law in Latvia one issue is clear, there is very little legality in Latvian judicial system. There are diferent clans from within the system now coming up with conflicting announcements. The crux of the problem - the substance of the rule of law - is not even mentioned in pronouncements of ministers, and that is very sad. Also my dear classmate, the Minister of Justice, Mr Gaidis Bērziņš is still on vacation, and he is representing the junior coalition partner Fatherland Union party anyway. Therefore, even if Minister of Justice would come up with enlightening pronouncement it would not have a political backing of the governing coalition, unless the governing coalition is rock solid and would not allow Minister of Justice personal extravaganzas.
Aye, aye, aye and PM is simply continuously dissapointing... It became known that apart from his famous announcement on Latvian TV, that he is a "sole provider of stability in Latvia"(es esmu stabilitātes garants valstī), he has come up with another pearl. The BNS journalist asked, whether he [Aigars Kalvītis] reckons it is ethical, that a person [Aivars Lembergs] is simultaneously maire of Ventspils and sitting under house arrest because of criminal investigation about money laundering and embezzlement charges? The PM answered that, "whilst following the classical definition, ethics is human action, that ensures his survival"!
Voila, and here we go again! The Darwinian survival of the fittest rules are still prevalent among the present Latvian political elite. It was the Soviet ideology that prevented critical discussions about the way society runs itself, or the way public treasury is controlled. Unfortunately the Soviet totalitarian governance practices are very much alive among the political elite, where the state is omnipotent and any criticism is considered by definition as destructive and threatening the foundations of the state. Whar else one may expect from the Prime Minister, who is not even ashamed to call ones citizens as mere barking canins? Society is not wholesome but heterogenous in Latvia, and sooner you learn this primne minister, the better for you, however, I am rather negative about his ability to learn anything...