SUPREME COURT: PUNISHMENTS IMPOSED IN FINANCE CRIMES ARE AFFECTED BY QUALITY OF INVESTIGATION AND PUBLIC PROSECUTION
29 January, 2016
The Supreme Court considers reproaches expressed by officials of the State Revenue Service to courts for inadequacy of punishments imposed for serious finance crimes to be unfair and general.
The Supreme Court has sent a letter to the Director-General of the State Revenue Service, asking to find an opportunity to get familiarised with summary carried out by the Finance Police Department, which was mentioned at the press conference of the State Revenue Service on 27 January, to involve in research of this problem within its competence.
In 2013 already, the Division of Case-law of the Supreme Court had carried out a research of case-law in cases on legalisation of proceeds from crimes and tax evasion. The study also includes imposition of punishments according to qualification.
“Insufficient quality has been the one of the most significant problems in adjudication of these cases. Moreover, if the public prosecutor considers the imposed punishment to be mild, it is his or her obligation to file a protest. Comparatively small number of cases, which have been transferred to the cassation instance, give a reason to conclude that the public prosecution agrees to court judgements, inter alia, also to imposed punishments,” Ivars Bickovics, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, points out.
Expressing public criticism to policy related to punishments, it should be necessary to analyze following aspects: 1) why relatively many accused persons have been acquitted; 2) why there is relatively small number of protests filed by public prosecutors in these cases. Large number of acquitted persons, which is mentioned by the officials of the State Revenue Service in their information, directly draws attention to unfounded charges or insufficient evidence – the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court stresses.
Understanding the topicality of issue, the Supreme Court will also further analyse and assess problems of trial proceedings in cases of foregoing categories.
Information prepared by
Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court
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