Charges brought against ex-head of the Is­lamic Cul­ture Cen­ter of Latvia

The Baltic Times - - COMMENTARY - BNS/TBT Staff

The Riga District Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice has brought charges against the for­mer head of the Is­lamic Cul­ture Cen­ter of Latvia Olegs Petrovs for il­le­gal par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Syria con­flict on the side of the Is­lamic State.

Tak­ing into ac­count that this per­son has fled Latvia, and his lo­ca­tion is not known, an in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rant will be is­sued. The crim­i­nal process against Petrovs will be sus­pended un­til he is re­turned to Latvia and taken into cus­tody, Kris­tine Su­tug­ina from the Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice said.

The in­ves­tiga­tive news pro­gram Neka Per­son­iga re­ported last year that Petrovs dis­ap­peared from Latvia with his wife in 2015. A video posted on Youtube shows Petrovs ad­dress­ing view­ers from a Mus­lim coun­try, most likely Syria or Iraq. In the video, he con­grat­u­lates the ter­ror­ists who car­ried out the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in France and praised Ji­had.

The Se­cu­rity Po­lice have con­firmed that three res­i­dents of Latvia are cur­rently be­ing probed for their un­law­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion in the armed con­flict in Syria. One of the peo­ple ac­cused of the above crime is Petrovs, the for­mer leader of the Lat­vian Is­lamic Cul­ture Cen­ter, who had been vo­cally sup­port­ing the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in France, and ex­tolling Ji­had in his posts on the In­ter­net.

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