Based on psychiatrists’ conclusion, former prosecutor Irina Bogdanova has been released from prison. IN May 2015, Riga Vidzeme Suburb Court found her guilty of bribe extortion, as reported by Ir magazine. This turn of events can negatively affect bribe cases in which Bogdanova is an important witness.
In 2008, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau caught Bogdanova accepting a bribe from Estonian businessman Ralf Kopel. Businessman Boris Ryazanskis was an accomplice in the crime – he had promised the Estonian businessman to settle the problem for LVL 25,000 (EUR 37,571). One year ago, the court finally announced its ruling, finding both of them guilty. The ex-prosecutor was sentenced to four years in prison. The accomplice was sentenced to five years.
Bodganova, however, is no longer behind bars. On 9 May, she was released from Ilguciems women’s prison. The reason for that was the psychiatric conclusion that was scheduled following a request from Bogdanova’s request. The psychological conclusion stated that Bogdanova has a psychological disorder because of which she cannot remain in prison or take part in court sessions.
Ir has found from Riga Regional Court that Judge Brigita Bumeistere, who viewed the case in an appeal procedure, decided to end the criminal process because of the conclusion made in Bogdanova’s psychological evaluation. It is unknown as to when the criminal process may be launched again. A repeated health check for Bogdanova has to be performed one year after the last. No forced treatment has been ordered. This is because she has not been deemed dangerous to society. All security measures have been lifted from her. She is now free to travel around and outside of Latvia.
This was not the only psychiatric health evaluation performed for Bogdanova in the aforementioned case: another one was performed in 2010 following a request from the prosecutor’s office. At that time, experts had to wait nine months for the conclusion. In the end, Bodganova was deemed sane and fit to be tried.
The new psychological evaluation may negatively affect criminal processes in which Bogdanova’s testimony has significant value. Last February, De facto programme had played an audio recording in which Bogdanova admitted helping ‘settling affairs’ in Riga and Jurmala. Criminal processes have been launched based on her testimony. According to public information, there are two criminal processes.
Criminal prosecution has been launched against former Jurmala judge Tatyana Bormane, who had used the services of Bogdanova’s acquaintance Sigita Priede to acquire fake sick leave papers.
The second criminal process is related to businessman Gulam Gulami and former judge of Riga Regional Court Iveta Berzina, who is accused of extorting a bribe from the businessman. In this criminal case, Bogdanova acted as a mediator. Initially, however, she was held suspect of the crime. Police, however, have since changed her status to that of a witness.
If Bogdanova’s psychological state prevents her from taking part in court hearings, she is unable to testify in other criminal processes.