The litigation on Alina Lebedeva's case was finally finished yesterday. This desperate 16-year-old schoolgirl from the Latvian town of Daugavpils found herself in the center of the world attention after she publicly switched the British prince Charles in the face with a bouquet of carnations. This happened on November 8 of 2001 in the city of Riga, when Prince Charles was on the official visit to Latvia.
The criminal proceedings were immediately instituted against Alina at the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Riga. She was charged on the ground of the article about an intention to pose a threat to the life or health of a foreign official. The Latvian laws envisage up to 15 years in prison on that article of the criminal code.
The outcome of that story could be very lamentable, if prince Charles himself did not stand up for Alina. The prince asked the Latvian government to release the girl. As the spokesmen for the British Royal Family declared, “the thing that the girl did was not pleasant, but her action was rather trivial, which did not harm the prince.”
The Latvian authorities classified Alina’s case as hooliganism, and the file was sent to the court of the Central district of Riga. The judges decided that Alina must be released to the bailment of her mother. A lawyer said, the girl was released with the farewell speech, in which she was told to live honestly with her family.
Alina is now studying very hard – she is going to enrol a humanitarian institute. As she said, she was trembling all over before she could approach the prince. But she managed to subdue her fear and switched prince Charles in the face with her flowers as a token of protest against the American operation in Afghanistan and against Latvia's membership in NATO.
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/23/35912.html