The editor of a muckraking website that has published compromising emails from Rīga Mayor Nils Ušakovs has been shot in his apartment building, Latvian media report.
Leonīds Jākobsons, editor of kompromat.lv, was wounded the evening of March 29 in the stairwell of his apartment building on Čaka iela in Rīga. He was able to call for help and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Jākobsons is reportedly in stable condition, according to local media.
Jākabsons’ website late last year published a series of emails that were stolen from Ušakovs’ account. The correspondence, written in 2008 when Ušakovs was a member of parliament, raised suspicions that his political party—the center-left Harmony Centre (Saskaņas Centrs)—had received illegal campaign financing, possibly through Russia’s embassy in Rīga.
The editor’s apartment was searched by police in December and Jākabsons was held in jail for two days, a move that was strongly condemned by the Paris-based press rights organization Reporters Without Borders.
The Latvian Association of Journalists (Latvijas Žurnālistu asociācija) condemned the March 29 attack on Jākobsons, announcing in a statement that such events are unacceptable in a democratic state.
Jākobsons’ reporting methods have at times been questionable, the journalists association said, but added that persons who believe their reputation has been damaged may under Latvian press law turn to the courts for remedy.
Ušakovs, meanwhile, was being roundly criticized by a number of social media users. They were reacting to a message the mayor posted on his Twitter account.
“About the wounded Leonids Jākobsons,” Ušakovs wrote in Latvian. “1. My sympathy to the victim and my wish that the police quickly resolve this case. 2. I have an alibi :).”
Several Twitter users called the mayor’s message cynical and said he has created a public relations crisis for himself.
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