The former journalist of “Dienas” could take the position of the director of SAB instead of Maizītis

After the long-term death of the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) Jānis Maizītis on November 11 this year, possible candidacies for the position of the Director of the SAB are being actively discussed. Among the potential candidates is the name of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Germany Inga Skujiņa. At the beginning of her career, she worked for the newspaper Diena.

President Egils Levits believes that the circle of possible candidates for the position of the Director of the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution is very narrow. On November 14, in the TV3 program “Nekā personīga”, E. Levits emphasized that he was already considering some possible candidates for the position of SAB director, assuming that the new SAB director could be appointed in the near future.
The Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns pointed out that the National Security Council (NDP) and the Saeima should not hesitate to appoint a new professional, honest and courageous SAB leader. After receiving the tragic news of Maizītis’ death, Bordāns visited the state security institution and met with Andi Freimanis, Deputy Director and Acting Director.
Mr Levits said he would talk to potential candidates and then, according to the law, the candidates would be discussed by the National Security Council (NDP).
“From the beginning, I have to talk to the candidates if they will agree to this very responsible task. That is my task. After that, the candidates will be evaluated by the NDP, “said E. Levits.
The program “Nekā personīga” reported that the candidate for the position of the director of the Constitution Protection Bureau is being nominated by the National Security Council. It is chaired by the President. The Speaker of the Saeima, the chairmen of the Saeima National Security Commission and also the Defense, Interior and Corruption Prevention Commission, the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs and the Interior work in the Council. The Attorney General may also attend the hearing. After that, the candidate must be approved by the Saeima in an open vote for 5 years.
One of the members of the National Security Council, in an interview with “Nekā personīga”, stated that the director of the SAB did not have to look for special services, as Kažociņš and Maizītis had come from the sidelines and had done a very good job.
The members of the National Security Council, the Ministers of Defense and the Interior, as well as the Prosecutor General, did not want to comment on the appointment of the SAB director.

Various laws state that the director of the SAB may be a person who has received a first-class special permit for access to a state secret, who has relevant experience in a managerial position and who meets the minimum requirements set for state security authority officials, LETA confirmed.
These requirements stipulate that a Latvian citizen who has reached the age of 18 and has not previously been punished for an intentional crime and who speaks at least one foreign language may become an official of a special service. The requirements also stipulate that a person must have a higher education, and the state of health and psychological characteristics must be appropriate for the performance of official duties.
Previous SAB managers – Jānis Maizītis and Jānis Kažociņš – had extensive experience in leading positions in law enforcement and defense departments before becoming SAB directors. Maizītis had previously worked as the Attorney General and the Secretary of the National Security Council, but before becoming the Director of the SAB, Kažociņš had prematurely retired from the British Armed Forces as a Brigadier General.

Among the potential candidates for the position of Director of the SAB, according to the information available to Agnese Margēviča, a journalist from Dienas, Ēriks Cinkus, Deputy Chief of the State Security Service, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Center for Strategic Communications Excellence, and two diplomats – Latvian Ambassador to NATO Edgars Skuja and Latvian Ambassador to Germany Inga Skujiņa.

The information at Leta’s disposal shows that Inga Skujiņa used to work in the foreign news department of the newspaper “Diena” (from 1993 to 1995). After that, in various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

1995-1997 – Senior Reporter in the International Organizations Division, later in the Security Policy Division

1997-2000 – 2nd Secretary at the Latvian Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna

2000-2001 – Director of the Security Policy Department, at the same time Head of the Arms Control Division

2001-2003 – Head of the NATO Division, member of the Latvian delegation to join NATO

2003-2008- Adviser to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2008.1.- Deputy State Secretary for Strategy of the Ministry of Justice

from 2012.3. – Director of the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU)

2017. 7 – has become the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Germany