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Media Ombudsman Probes Ethical Breaches in Latvian TV Murder Report

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Media Ombudsman Probes Ethical Breaches in Latvian TV Murder Report

Anda Rožukalne, the public media ombudsman of Latvia, is currently evaluating potential ethical breaches in a segment aired on Latvian Television's (LTV) 'Panorāma' about the murder of Rēzekne entrepreneur Andris Būbkas. The segment featured interviews with Igor Hait's wife, Alona, the alleged murderer, and his driver, who has been given suspect status. Alona disclosed a dispute prior to the murder in which Būbkas allegedly made aggressive, ethnically charged remarks.

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Accusations of Slander and National Hatred Incitement

The victim's son, Lauris Būbkas, accused the interviewees of slandering his father and stirring up national hatred to distract from the actual motives of the murder and influence the court proceedings. Following the aired segment, Rožukalne received three submissions – one on November 26 and two on the same day – prompting her to initiate her assessment and send inquiries to LTV.

Details of the Murder Case

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The murder of Būbkas, a businessman and politician, took place near a shopping center in Rēzekne. The State Police quickly carried out a special operation named 'Slazdi' and arrested the suspect, Igor Hait, born in 1975. Hait is currently detained as the prime suspect in Būbkas's murder. Initial insights suggest a conflict between the involved parties just before the crime.

Profile of the Victim

Būbkas was a member of the Ludzas regional council from the Green and Farmers' Union and proprietor of a woodworking business 'Lūsēni,' which reported a turnover of 18,529,485 euros and a profit of 7,138,909 euros last year. He was also actively involved in several associations and clubs such as 'Mežvidu līnis,' 'Snaiperi,' 'Ziķeri,' and 'Latgales ražojošo lauksaimnieku apvienība'.

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