Sorainen has provided pro bono legal representation to Re:Baltica Center for Investigative Journalism journalist Inga Springe in harassment proceedings against Janis Sondars.
According to Sorainen, Springe “suffered from prolonged and repeated harassment by Janis Sondars, including intimidation, threats, and unwanted communication. On March 30, this year, the Senate refused to initiate cassation proceedings following the entry into force of the Regional Court’s decision. As a result, Janis Sondars was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for the harassment of Inga Springe.”
According to the firm, “criminal proceedings related to the activities of Sondars were initiated in 2019, but they were terminated shortly afterward and were not renewed even after an appeal because the police did not establish intent on his part to intimidate and make direct threats. Unfortunately, the unwanted activities continued, due to which the police had to be contacted again. When the proceedings were renewed, the prosecutor moved the case smoothly to trial, upheld the prosecution, and within a period of just over a year the case had been heard in all three courts.”
Furthermore, Sorainen reports that “Sondars was aware that Springe does not want to contact him. Despite the above, unwanted communication with the journalist was maintained for a period of almost two years. As the court pointed out, this communication was carried out grossly ignoring and violating the generally accepted moral norms in society about what constitutes respectful communication among persons who do not know each other, including on issues on which there are sharp differences of opinion. In addition, it is important to evaluate all the actions taken as a whole and in relation to each other, because all the actions only achieved the desired effect – fear on the part of the victim – as a whole. As a result, the court concluded that the victim had objective grounds to perceive the threats and actions as endangering her safety.”
Back in 2021, Sorainen also provided pro bono legal assistance to Inga Springe and two other journalists in connection with their persecution and intimidation carried out by a private individual (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 19, 2021).
Sorainen’s team included Partner Andris Taurins, Counsel Violeta Zeppa-Priedite, Senior Associates Katrina Salmgrieze and Agita Sprude, and Associate Krista Niklase.