The ever-more-deranged Lukashenko regime in Belarus said May 28 it was opening a criminal investigation against the mayor of Rīga, Mārtiņš Staķis, and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs for replacing the post-1995 state flag of Belarus with the pre-1995 state flag of Belarus, reported Belarusian media.
The alleged offense took place in Latvia, as previously reported by LSM , so the jurisdictional reasoning, or lack thereof, of the Belarusian state prosecutor should make for interesting reading.
“After reviewing statements in the media and on the Internet about a serious crime against Belarus, Prosecutor General Andrey Shved has initiated a criminal case against Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs for their deliberate actions aimed at inciting national hatred based on nationality, in accordance with Article 130 (3) of the Belarusian Criminal Code,” said the statement of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus . The Criminal Code of Belarus provides for imprisonment for five to 12 years for such a crime, LSM’s Latvian language service reported, so the pair would be well advised to avoid holidays in Grodno for the forseeable future.
“Such desecration of state symbols humiliated the national dignity of Belarusians,” said the statement, in a rare association of the Lukashenko regime with the concept of dignity.
Rinkēvičs described the move as evidence of the “desperation and insanity of the Lukashenko regime”.
Staķis’ reply was even more withering, suggesting Lukashenko will ultimate find justice in The Hague: the location for trials involving international war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Court of Justice.