Latvia: Girl Hits Prince Of Wales, File Goes To Top Prosecutor. "He's A Gentleman," Says Culprit

The Alina Lebedeva criminal case will shortly reach the Prosecutor-General's office, reports the security police. Alina, a secondary school student of Daugavpils, assaulted the Prince of Wales while he was in Riga a few days ago on an official visit to Latvia. She whipped the heir-apparent to the British crown across the face with a bunch of carnations in protest against the Afghan war and Latvia's upcoming NATO membership, the 16-year-old said after she was seized. The girl faces 15 years in prison on charges of endangering the life and health of a foreign VIP. Prince Charles interceded for Alina before the host country's authorities, November 10, and asked not to put the girl in the dock. St. James Palace spokesmen describe the outrage as a "disagreeable but trivial occasion which in no way told on His Royal Highness". The Prince's request gives no reason to stop the Lebedeva proceedings. According to investigators' information, her intentions were "more than serious", she was acting in cold blood and determined to attack His Royal Highness in her native Daugavpils if she had failed to get near him in Riga, Didzis Smitins, vice-chief of security police, said to newsmen. Alina was released yesterday on restricted travel pledge after three-day detention, and is at home. "I am not sorry," she said to reporters--and refers to her victim as "gentlemen".

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