Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for March 27th, 2010

Latvian Official Supplied Weapons To Somali Pirates = Supports Terrorism

Posted by Info on 27/03/2010

In 1992, Janis Dibrancs, then-Latvian Ministry of Defense Head of Procurement, decided to make a quick profit by smuggling weapons to Somalia – already under United Nations Embargo. Millions of dollars worth of weapons were delivered to Somali pirates.
Latvia supplied arms to Somalia in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

“There was no control at all at the ports after the fall of the Soviet Union, and it was possible to carry out such transactions,” weapons exporter Arnolds Liebeks says.
Several shipments of AK-47s, ammunition and rocket launchers were transported from Poland, then loaded on to several boats just outside the main Navy base of Latvia.

In 1994, they were used to kill Ilaria Alpi, a famous Italian journalist, and her cameraman.

Janis Dibrancs was arrested in 1996. Despite pleading guilty in a top secret trial conducted by Latvia’s top prosecutors, Dibrancs was not incarcerated.

Journalist Imants Liepins:“A criminal investigation was initiated, and that’s all. Literally nothing happened. He was released without any charges. Latvia was not yet a member of the NATO block, so it was important to avoid doing anything ‘wrong’.”
Recently trial documents have been recovered by an anonymous group that hacked into top secret government servers.

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office has called on the UN to create an international court to try Somali pirates (and those who give material support – like Latvia?)The proposed court could be similar to the international tribunals in the Netherlands involving Yugoslavia and Rwanda.“Therefore, the entire responsibility for starting judicial proceedings rests with the state whose ship has seized these pirates.”</em>

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