Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has been interrogating some influential figure for some time. Last week, De Facto programme of LTV had noticed Maris Martinsons coming out of KNAB after an interrogation. KNAB’s management refuses to comment the newly-launched corruption case.
Politically influential millionaire Martinsons had come to KNAB after the bureau decided to bring him over by force the day before. Officers of Latvian State Police arrived at Maris Martinsons’ house in Jurmala at 10:00 in the morning on 6 May. The guard told them that Martinsons was not at home, as he had departed for Riga an hour earlier on some business.
A couple of hours later, Martinsons decided to come to KNAB on his own. Shortly after 13:00, the businessman left the bureau with his lawyer, Liga Cirule.
Martinsons rushed to his car, ignoring De Facto journalists and their questions.
KNAB launched the corruption case this year. The bureau refuses to comment anything related to the case, saying that it is for the best of the investigation. «I cannot comment anything at this time. Nor can I confirm or deny any rumours,» – said Chief of KNAB Yaroslav Strelchenok.
Cirule was once the head of State Police’s Organized Crimes Combating Office. She retains some authority over law enforcement institutions. As a lawyer, Cirule represented the former head of Riga City Council’s Housing Administration Arija Stabina, whose office was searched by KNAB in a corruption case four years ago. The lawyer refuses to comment the most recent case.
«Please understand – this information is confidential. I cannot comment whether or not he is my client. No comment. I neither claim nor deny anything. I simply do not comment this situation,» – said the lawyer.
While KNAB and others remain silent, it is unclear as to whether or not it is a coincidence that Transport Ministry’s state secretary Kaspars Ozolins and former Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss have also been recently invited to KNAB to provide testimonies. De Facto is aware that the businessmen and two other officials have been interrogated by the same investigator.
Martinsons or his family members have owned companies that had participated in state and municipal procurement projects over the years. Most recently those companies had participated in procurement projects in the transport industry. Martinsons’ family partially owned Dzelzceļu būve has been taking part in procurements organized by LDz in recent years.
Martinsons has also supported sports and art events related to politicians from Unity and For Latvia’s Development. He also has close ties to Riga’s Vice-Mayor Andris Ameriks. Along with other construction companies, Martinsons has begun supporting Latvijas karogs, which is managed by Saeima deputy Rihards Kols from the National Alliance.